Local News

State looking for volunteer weather watchers

Posted April 12, 2013

— It's time for teacher Denise Simpson's fourth-grade class at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh to check the rain gauge.

Luke Law measures .21 inch and enters the data into a computer with the help of classmate Christina Oelhafen.

It has been a daily ritual in Simpson's class for three years.

“It's really exciting, because it's a hands-on science activity,” Simpson said.

The class is part of a program called CoCoRaHS – the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – a group of volunteer weather observers that are a big help to forecasters.

Heather Dinon Aldridge of the State Climate Office of North Carolina said scientists use the data collected by the volunteers to validate their forecasts and paint a more precise picture of precipitation.

Without the volunteers' reports, she said, climatology maps would have observations only from official weather stations.

The state is always looking for more volunteers.

“We're down to about 300 every day, so we really need some help,” Dinon Aldridge said.

Volunteers can sign up online, buy a $30 rain gauge and put it in the yard. Then, start filing reports.

It’s something that Simpson's students look forward to every day.

“Any hands-on that you can add to the science, it brings it to life,” she said. “It really broadens their horizon.”


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  • dapandkwp Apr 17, 2013

    They are looking for volunteers because the National Weather Service knows there will be a degradation weather information since the FAA is getting rid of weather observers and having air traffic controllers do weather observing on top of their normal activities.

    They will have to rely on the general public for accurate weather information instead of professional weather observers for climate data.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Apr 15, 2013

    For $30--you can call yourself an elite member of the club that sent the state $30

  • guitarman9064 Apr 12, 2013

    How about some geoengineering watchers ?

  • stymieindurham Apr 12, 2013

    Sign me up!!!!!