Climatologist calls for more rain gauge volunteers

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— Weather nerds, especially some of those living in lightly populated areas of Routt County, have just received an invitation from State Climatologist Nolan Doesken to join a national network of volunteers who report daily precipitation amounts.

“There are still quite a number of places in the county where people live but where we’ve been unable to round up any more rain gauge volunteers,” Doesken wrote in email to the Steamboat Today. “Please consider inviting more people to help out and fill in the gaps.”

Doesken, who is based in the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, was among a group of state officials visiting Moffat and Routt counties Wednesday to observe the effects of drought. His plea for volunteers referred to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).

The network, established by CSU, collects localized precipitation data in specific rural locations as well as multiple locations within cities and towns.

It means local residents could become the source of rainfall reports from Fly Gulch, Deep Creek, Twentymile Park or Hillbilly Mountain or anywhere else they live and contribute to the climate database. All they need is a reliable 4-inch rain gauge (non-automated) and a little training that can be accomplished online. The ability to connect to the Internet isn’t required, but it provides an advantage.

People who are intrigued by the weather and want to become involved can learn about how CoCoRaHS works, watch training videos and submit an application to the organization at the CoCoRaHS Web page.

Begin by clicking on “about us” in the left-hand column, or simply click on Colorado in the map of the United States to see where CoCoRaHS rain gauges are already in place in the region.

Interested residents may also link to another Web page where they can purchase an official CoCoRaHS 4-inch rain gauge at the discounted price of $27.25.

“We don't have complimentary gauges, but in hardship cases, we would do our best to make sure that a willing volunteer got a CoCoRaHS rain gauge,” Doesken added.

Click here for the latest extended weather forecast for Steamboat Springs.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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