Rainfall monitoring network seeks volunteers
The Minnesota State Climatology Office is seeking volunteer rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network in the Beltrami County area.
BEMIDJI — The Minnesota State Climatology Office is seeking volunteer rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network in the Beltrami County area.
The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure precipitation in their backyards using a standard 4-inch-diameter rain gauge.
These rainfall monitoring activities are performed by individuals at home who submit their reports online. Minnesota Climatologist Luigi Romolo said the data from backyard rain gauges are helpful and important in many ways and can also serve as a fun learning activity for the whole family.
“The data from these volunteers is extremely important to us for monitoring drought, monitoring flooding, verifying high rainfall and snowfall totals and much more,” Romolo said. “The value of their observations cannot be overstated, especially given the recent droughts we’ve had to endure over the past two years. The program is also a fun family activity and a great way to get kids more involved with science.”
Each March, the network runs a recruitment campaign to sign up new volunteers. Minnesota has already recruited over 550 volunteers this year and the national record for a state during the recruitment campaign was 365 volunteers, which was set by Minnesota last year. In addition, the state which recruits the most volunteers in March wins the CoCoRaHS Cup. Minnesota has won it an unprecedented three years in a row now and hopes to keep the streak going.
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. They must purchase or provide a standard 4-inch-diameter rain gauge (available at discount through CoCoRaHS) and have internet access to submit reports.
“Although we have already recruited a historic number of volunteers this month, we can surely use more in the Bemidji and Beltrami County area,” Romolo said. “We’re hoping Minnesotans will again come through in 2023 to keep the Cup in Minnesota and more importantly, to improve our state’s precipitation recording.”
To sign up or for more information, visit CoCoRaHS.org or contact Luigi Romolo at email@example.com.