Wanted: NH Weather Watchers

Are you a weather watcher interested in learning about how weather affects our lives? Then, here’s a chance to join a network of volunteers in the Granite State that  will monitor precipitation as part of a nationwide, coordinated effort.  Plymouth State University (PSU) is looking for volunteers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). A training for potential volunteers will be held locally, in Unity on August 19.

The idea is for citizens to have fun participating in meteorological science and to gather accurate high-quality precipitation data for the National Weather Service and others. Brendon Hoch, Technology Manager at PSU’s Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute, said the program is just getting underway in the Granite State.

It’s an opportunity to get involved in science that can improve our understanding of the atmosphere and result in more accurate predictions of snowfall and rainfall. – Brendon Hoch

The citizen-driven CoCoRaHS program will depend on residents becoming amateur observers by measuring and reporting rainfall, hail and snow data in their own backyards. Potential volunteers can learn more about the program at training sessions scheduled for across the state. A training session will be held at the Sullivan County Complex in Unity on August 19 at 7 p.m. For other training locations, see below.

Hoch said the volunteers will be a key part of improving weather forecasting around the country.

Why is it important to monitor precipitation?  Precipitation is important in many aspects of weather forecasting, and there is a need for more precipitation reporting to add critical data to the nation’s network of reporting stations. The data can help improve and verify the accuracy and timeliness of flood warnings and forecasts. This data allows CoCoRaHS to supplement existing networks and provide many useful results to scientists, resource managers and decision makers.

Volunteers report their daily observations on the interactive Web site: www.cocorahs.org

The goal is to have one observer per square mile in urban areas and one observer per 25 square miles in rural areas. Hoch noted a modest investment is needed to participate in the program. The time commitment is for one season and a financial commitment will be a $23 rain gauge.

Here is a list of upcoming training and orientation meetings in New Hampshire.

August 18

Boyd Science Center (3rd Floor), Plymouth State University,

Plymouth NH

Grafton

7 p.m.

August 19

Ahern Building, Sullivan County Complex, Unity NH Sullivan

7 p.m.

August 20

Plymouth State University Graduate School, 2 Pillsbury St.

(5th Floor), Concord, NH

Merrimack

7 p.m.

August 25

Mount Washington Weather Discovery Center, 2779 Main Street, North Conway, NH Carroll

6 p.m.

September 3

Nesmith Library, 8 Fellows Road, Windham, NH Rockingham

7 p.m.

September 10

UNH, Huddleston G10, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH Strafford

7 p.m.

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