Be a part of the weather team as a rainfall monitor

From the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer and the DNR:

Be a part of the weather team as a rainfall monitor

  • Do you have an interest in the weather?
  • Are you looking for a way to do something for the environment from your location?
  • Or how about a great classroom or family activity that provides an easy way for kids to get involved with science?

Volunteer as a rainfall monitor for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) coordinated through the state climatology office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

MCV readers, you helped out before. After MCV wrote about CoCoRaHS in 2022 and 2023, MCV readers stepped up and the response was tremendous. You can do it again!

For the past four years, Minnesota has won the “CoCoRaHS Cup” for recruiting the most new volunteers of any state. Thank you to the over 600 Minnesotans who joined us last year and helped set a national record! But we still need more rainfall monitors and you could be one of them!

Data provided by volunteers:

  • Verifies high rainfall totals after big events
  • Provides critical information during flooding events
  • Monitors drought conditions
  • Provides needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate

The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure rainfall in their backyards using a standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge and submit their reports online. The program also collects snowfall and reports hail among other weather observations. The data is used by the National Weather Service, researchers, cities, and a wide range of industries.

To become a rainfall monitor, you must:

  • Have internet access to submit reports by computer or using the CoCoRaHS Observer weather app on your smartphone
  • Provide or purchase a standard 4-inch rain gauge(discounts are available through CoCoRaHS)
  • Complete online training on how to observe weather trends and how to submit precipitation and weather event reports online
  • Commit to submitting reports for at least one season

Volunteers are particularly needed outside the Twin Cities metro area. Some areas have very few reporting stations so the more we have across the state, the better information we have to work with.

To sign up:

Read eVermilion