National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Northeast Wisconsin Cooperative Observers

The National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) is truly the Nation's weather and climate observing network of, by and for the people.  Nationally, more than 11,000 volunteers (nearly 100 in northeast and north-central Wisconsin) take weather observations (temperature and/or precipitation) on farms, in urban and suburban areas, National Parks, seashores, and mountaintops.  The data are truly representative of where people live, work and play.

Weather data are transmitted via telephone, computer or mail.  Equipment used at NWS cooperative stations may be owned by the NWS, the observer, or by a company or other government agency, as long as it meets NWS equipment standards.

Volunteer weather observers conscientiously contribute their time so that observations can provide the vital information needed. These data are invaluable in learning more about the floods, droughts, heat and cold waves affecting us all.  The data are also used in agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utilities planning, and litigation.  COOP data plays a critical role in efforts to recognize and evaluate the extent of human impacts on climate from local to global scales.

General Information

Another option to become a "weather watcher" for the National Weather Service is through the CoCoRaHS program.  Click here for more information on the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network in Wisconsin.