Citizen Science Group Calls On Volunteers To Measure Precipitation

Aug 29, 2016

Collecting daily precipitation data is the goal of a group of volunteers paying close attention to the weather. Jay Shafer, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Lyndon State College, spoke to Vermont Edition on Monday about the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS.

"We are a citizen-science, weather-observing project," Shafer explains. "It's a national group – it's been around 20 years or so – and we are a dedicated group of folks who are observing daily rainfall, daily snowfall and hail if it does occur to make sure that people who are in the weather community are aware of what's actually going on in the hills of Vermont."

Shafer says that the group is heading into its eighth year in Vermont and there are approximately 100 "active observers" in the state.

"We're really after how much water is falling from the sky and trying to measure that," Shafer says. "And that's really important for us to understand the weather and climate across Vermont."

Shafer discussed the process and equipment used to collect precipitation information, as well as where group members submit their findings and the benefit of having this data.

Shafer also says new volunteers from all over the state are welcome, and those who are interested can get involved through the CoCoRaHS website.

Listen to the complete interview above.