Iowa volunteers are needed to help keep tabs on the rain

Pea sized hail and heavy rain impact downtown Charles City on Monday evening March 6th, 2017

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa’s weather forecasters are looking for more volunteers to help make simple but important observations daily. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says they need people with an interest in the weather who can purchase a four-inch diameter rain gauge, set it up in a suitable location and post their daily readings on the internet.

On a typical day, making the observations and recording them should only take a few minutes. Hillaker says it may not sound like a big deal, but these volunteer observers play a key role in helping better document the amount and variability of rain and snow.

The multi-state group is known as CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network. It was launched in Colorado in 1998 and is now in all 50 states and Canada. Joining the network of observers is free, but specific equipment is a must.

Weather observers are needed everywhere in Iowa but the most critical needs are in: Allamakee, Bremer, Worth and Wright counties. Learn more at www.cocorahs.org.

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