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Weather service seeks volunteers

Submitted by Paul Yura National Weather Service

Rainfall is so vital to South Central Texas; not only to replenish the lakes and aquifers, but for recreation, agriculture, and landscaping. In order for meteorologists at the National Weather Service to better forecast and document rainfall and flooding, there is a need for volunteers in a program called Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). CoCoRaHS is a program that involves all 50 states and encourages the general public to report rainfall, hail, and snow.

Anyone can be a volunteer for this project. The only thing needed is a good accurate rain gauge and an enthusiasm for weather.

There is no cost to join. Simply go to the CoCoRaHS website and follow the instructions on how to become a member. Official rain gauges can be purchased through the website, if they don't own one. Observers are encouraged to log onto the website daily and submit their report, even if rain did not occur.

In addition to rainfall, hail reports are also very important to the Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service. Not only can the submitted reports help save lives, they will also help research scientists, hydrologists, emergency managers, engineers, and more.

For more information regarding CoCoRaHS, visit the website at www.cocorahs.org. For additional information, contact regional coordinators, Mark Lenz or Steve Smart, at 830-606-3600.

"There is a friendly competition right now among states to see which state gets the most new CoCoRaHS members by the end of March," said Lenz. "We live in Flash Flood Alley, and knowing how much rain fell across the area is key to putting out accurate watches and warnings.

Please consider joining this rainfall network and share your rain totals with the rest of the city, county, and country."