Weather Service seeking volunteers to report precip amounts in Big Horn, Wind, & Upper Green river basins, Johnson & Lincoln counties

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The National Weather Service Forecast office in Riverton has issued an appeal for volunteers. “We need You!  Join the CoCoRaHS precipitation observing team,” was the key message posted by the NWS-RIW team.

What is CoCoRaHS?

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a nationwide volunteer reporting network that provides precipitation measurements for natural resource, education and research applications. The National Weather Service uses CoCoRaHS precipitation data daily in river forecast models, flood and drought forecasts, and precipitation and snowfall maps and tables.

CoCoRaHS (pronounced co-co-raws) allows observers to share their precipitation measurements via the Internet, which can be used by agencies who need accurate, real-time precipitation data for various purposes. The only equipment needed to join CoCoRaHS is a standard 4″ diameter plastic rain gage (provided upon sign up) and access to the Internet to enter reports. Observers can report precipitation daily or only on days when they are able to take measurements. CoCoRaHS observers can also send real-time severe weather reports to the National Weather Service (NWS); including hail size, flooding, storm damage, and excessive rainfall, which greatly assist meteorologists in determining the impact of storms on local communities.

Due to Wyoming’s expansiveness, the CoCoRaHS network is an invaluable tool for the NWS and other state and federal agencies to help fill-in the gaps due to a lack of available observation sites. This shortfall is mitigated by volunteers from across the state. Precipitation, in both winter and summer, can have wide ranging values. The more people reporting these data can greatly assist the NWS in providing better forecasts and warnings. Volunteers are welcome from across the state, but currently we could use more people from Big Horn, Washakie and Johnson counties, portions of Fremont county, specifically the Riverton and Dubois areas, portions of Lincoln county in the Alpine and Kemmerer areas, and around Pinedale in Sublette County.

–National Weather Service, Riverton

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