News release: Rainfall monitoring network seeks volunteers

March 1, 2024

Participants provide important data about precipitation,
climate trends

The Minnesota State Climatology Office is seeking rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure precipitation in their backyards using a standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge.

Participants submit their precipitation reports online. The data from backyard rain gauges are a critical source of information and it’s beneficial to add more volunteer weather observers each year, even in areas where there are already volunteers.

“Rainfall and snowfall amounts can vary widely over a short distance, so a variety of reports is helpful in the same community or area,” State Climatologist Luigi Romolo said. “We have some areas in greater Minnesota that have very few reporting stations. The more we have across the state, the better information we all have.”

“Over time, as more volunteer reports make our precipitation maps more accurate, these observations provide critical guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate,” Romolo added. “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 how to submit their precipitation and weather event reports. All training material is available online. Participants 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 four 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 2024 to keep the cup in Minnesota and, more important of course, to improve our state’s precipitation recording,” Romolo said.

To sign up or for more information, visit or contact Luigi Romolo at [email protected].

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