DENVER (CBS4) – It’s a funny sounding name, but volunteers with CoCoRaHS are doing some very important work!

CoCoRaHS stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, a Colorado State University-run precipitation monitoring network that now operates in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Volunteers measure and report rain, hail and snowfall around the country through a website that plots daily maps of precipitation.

There are currently about 1,000 active observers in Colorado, but many more are wanted because precipitation is so highly variable.

In a case like the rapid flash flood that hit the city of Loveland on Friday night, having a dense network of spotters can help determine the boundaries of where the heavy rain fell.

Weather observers measured heavy rain over the city of Loveland Friday night. (credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

Weather observers measured heavy rain over the city of Loveland Friday night. One rain gauge measured 4.31 inches in just a few hours. (credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

The ultimate goal of CoCoRaHS is to have at least 1 rain gauge per every square mile in populated areas, and at least one gauge every 30 square miles in rural locations.

All it takes to be involved is the purchase of the CoCoRaHS standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge, which costs around $30.

Volunteers have the option to train online to learn the best placement for a rain gauge and when and how to report.

“Measuring rain, hail and snow is not rocket science but volunteers do need some training so they can make more accurate measurements,” said Nolan Doesken, who directs CoCoRaHS and also is the state climatologist based at CSU.

There is a training session being offered via webinar at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, for new CoCoRaHS volunteers. It will last about 50 minutes.

To register for the online training, simply click here.



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