National Weather Service seeking volunteer observers

By Josh Marcisz | jmarcisz@ktalnews.tv

Published 03/21 2014 07:03PM

Updated 03/21 2014 07:21PM

The National Weather Service in Shreveport is searching for more volunteers to participate in The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).

CoCoRaHS is a national network put into place as a result of a devastating flash flood that hit Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1997. A localized storm dropped over a foot of rainfall while other areas of the city observed modest amounts. The ensuing flooding caused $200 million dollars in damage.

CoCoRaHS observers are volunteers of all ages willing to spend a few minutes each day measuring and reporting rainfall, submitting hail reports and reporting other instances of severe weather through a website. The data helps forecasters identify where severe weather conditions may be occurring and also helps monitor local drought conditions.

Senior Meteorologist, Jason Hansford, with the NWS Shreveport says observers are needed everywhere in the ArkLaTex and the duty takes up little time. "Measuring the amount of rain in your cylinder, logging online to enter your observation that in itself takes less than a minute," he says.

Anyone interested will make a one time payment of $30 for a high quality gauge which must be placed in an open area away from trees and tall buildings. There are no other fees associated with the CoCoRaHS. Schools are also encouraged to utilize the CoCoRaHS program.

To sign up or request more information you can contact Jason Hansford with the NWS Shreveport at Jason.Hansford@noaa.gov or visit the CoCoRaHS website.

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