Rainfall monitoring network seeks volunteer members

March 1, 2022


Reports provide important data about rainfall amounts, climate trends

The State Climatology Office is looking for volunteer rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure precipitation in their backyards using a standard 4 inch diameter rain gauge and submit reports online.

Climatologist Pete Boulay said the data from backyard rain gauges are helpful and important in many ways.

“These volunteers help to verify high rain totals after big events, monitor drought and flooding, make our precipitation maps more accurate and provide needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate,” Boulay said. “This is also a great educational activity for families with kids and a rewarding hobby for anyone interested in weather or climate.”

Volunteers are particularly needed outside the immediate Twin Cities metro area. Volunteers receive training on how to observe weather trends and submit their precipitation and weather event reports. All training material is available online. They must purchase or provide a standard 4 inch diameter rain gauge (available at discount through CoCoRaHS) and have internet access to submit reports.

For the past two years, Minnesota has won the “CoCoRaHS Cup” for recruiting the most new volunteers of any state.

“We’re hoping Minnesotans will again come through in 2022, to keep the Cup in Minnesota and, more importantly of course, to improve our state’s precipitation recording,” Boulay said.

To sign up or for more information, visit CoCoRaHS.org or contact Pete Boulay at [email protected]. The website includes lesson plans for STEM students and instructional videos for all participants.