National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Are You a Weather Enthusiast or a Trained Storm Spotter?

We want YOU to become an official CoCoRaHS Observer!

What is CoCoRaHS? 

www.cocorahs.org

CoCoRaHS is the Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network, a non-profit sponsored by NOAA, the National Science Foundation, and many others. It is a network of over 20,000 volunteer observers of rain, snow, and hail across North America.

Why should I join CoCoRaHS?

  • We need your weather reports! While our radar is great, when it comes to observing rain, hail, and snow, there's nothing better than human observer. Your observations help us fill in the gaps between other observation sites and help us better understand what happened at your precise location.
  • "The rain doesn't fall the same on all!" In both summer and winter, local effects can cause dramatic differences in rain and snow. Your reports help us better understand these differences and in turn help us produce a better forecast!
  • It's fun to track the weather!  Data into the cocorahs.org website will save your observations and transmit your observation directly to the National Weather Service. 

How does CoCoRaHS work?

  • After securing the necessary equipment, CoCoRaHS observers are asked to observe each day at the same time - most observers report in the morning from 7am to 9am, and this is what we recommend. CoCoRaHS observers should report every day even if no precipitation fell - those "zero" reports are very helpful for monitoring drought!
  • If you do not want to commit to daily observations you can still join and enter data when you can.  Example: At the cabin for the weekend and it rains.  Let us know by entering your observation into CoCoRaHS.  
  • In addition to daily observations, CoCoRaHS observers can also send a significant weather report if heavy rain/snow or hail is occurring. These reports are sent immediately to our office and are very important because they provide us much needed information to issue severe weather statements such as flash flood warnings.

Is there training available?

Yes! There are a few short training presentations available from CoCoRaHS to help you accurately measure rain, snow, and hail. Visit the CoCoRaHS Help Page for more information. (If you have any questions you're always welcome to contact us as well!  Email me: steve.gohde@noaa.gov or call 218-729-6697)

How do I sign up?

Visit the CoCoRaHS website to sign up! (CoCoRaHS is open to Canadian citizens, too!) You will need to purchase a rain gauge (~$30) - CoCoRaHS uses a standard 4" rain gauge to ensure observations are measured the same everywhere. You'll also need a snow board to measure snow as well as a measuring stick. Need help? We're happy to assist you!

 

Help Us Fill the Gaps in the map below.  Join CoCoRaHS Today!