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2013-03-21

CoCoRaHS March Madness seeks volunteers to measure rainfall

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a nationwide, nonprofit, volunteer, rainfall reporting network. The organization is currently in the midst of a "March Madness" drive to enlist more volunteers to increase its data base.
Over 30 volunteers in Bandera County are signed up and diligently send in rainfall reports from their area of the county. It's easy to sign up and the costs are minimal.
National Weather Service meteorologists depend on a network of rainfall observers to provide accurate and timely "ground truth" precipitation reports on a daily basis.
Quality precipitation data received from observers leads directly to improved weather and river level forecasts and warnings. The value of precipitation information obtained from CoCoRaHS is extraordinary, yielding a multitude of benefits for all users. The growth of CoCoRaHS secures an invaluable precipitation reporting resource for current and future generations.
Paul Yura, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service says, "Staff forecasters depend on a network of precipitation observers and weather spotters to provide vital information. Precipitation reports from observers provide ground truth evidence of how much rain, hail or snow actually fell to the surface. This data then can be compared to Doppler radar precipitation estimates, which leads to improved weather and river level forecasts and warnings."
For more information or to join the CoCoRaHS rainfall reporting network, go to http://cocorahs.org or you may contact the Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service www.srh.noaa.gov/ewx) via email to mark.lenz@noaa.gov or steve.smart@noaa.gov.
If you are not interested in being a volunteer, bookmark the Bandera County map page in order to have a reliable, easily accessible source of local precipitation amounts.