State rainfall monitoring network seeks more volunteer members to submit data from home

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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The state climatology office in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources needs volunteer rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure precipitation in their backyards using a standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge.

Volunteers perform rainfall monitoring activities at home and submit their reports online. The data are used to verify high rain totals after big events, monitor drought conditions and inform projections about floods, make precipitation maps more accurate, and provide needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate.

“This is a great educational activity for families with kids,” said State Climatologist Luigi Romolo, “and a rewarding hobby for anyone interested in weather or climate.”

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Volunteers are particularly needed outside of the immediate Twin Cities metro area. To participate, rainfall monitors must purchase or provide a standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge (available at discount through CoCoRaHS) and have internet access to submit reports. CoCoRaHS provides online training on how to observe weather trends and how to submit precipitation and weather event reports.

To sign up to become a CoCoRaHS rain observer or for more information, visit the website or contact Luigi Romolo at The website includes lesson plans for STEM students and instructional videos for all participants.