What's the Weather in Your Backyard?
When you hear the rainfall amount from the official gage, have you ever said,
"That's not what I got!"
CoCoRaHS is an acronym that stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network. CoCoRaHS is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and report precipitation data. The program started in Colorado in 1998 and is now active in almost all 50 states across the country. Data collected through CoCoRaHS helps meteorologists, researchers, media outlets, and others observe and study the variability of precipitation across the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia. The accumulated precipitation data is available to anyone through the internet.
There are over 350 CoCoRaHS observers in the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (GSP) county warning area. The map below shows the locations of these observers across Western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, and Northeast Georgia. Click on the map for a larger version.
CoCoRaHS data are used in several important ways. In addtion to reporting daily precipitation, observers are also encouraged to report hail and intense precipitation. CoCoRaHS hail reports have been used numerous times to verify severe thunderstorm warnings and intense precipitation reports have alerted forecasters to heavy rainfall, prompting the issuance of flood/flash flood warnings. Also, daily CoCoRaHS precipitation data is gathered and issued in a text format for Western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, and Northeast Georgia. Click HERE to see the latest CoCoRaHS precipitation reports from the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia!
CoCoRaHS data are also collected and analyzed to create event snowfall/rainfall accumulation maps. One example is from the snowstorm that occurred on March 1st-2nd, 2009. Also, GSP is now creating monthly rainfall maps that are based on CoCoRaHS, Coop, and ASOS data for the entire month. These maps are available here. The main thing to remember is that CoCoRaHS data are used on a consistent basis by the National Weather Service in a multitude of ways!
Becoming part of the CoCoRaHS program is quite easy. Simply go to the program's web site, www.cocorahs.org, and click on the "Join CoCoRaHS" link in the upper right-hand portion of the web page. After entering all the necessary information, purchase one of the 4" rain gages that is standard to the program and you are ready to go.
For more information, use the contact information provided below.
Western Region Coordinator: Jeff Taylor
Thank you for your interest in CoCoRaHS - Because Every Drop Counts!