The Minnesota State Climatology Office is looking for 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 four-inch rain gauge.

These rainfall monitoring activities are performed by individuals at home who submit their reports online. Volunteers should follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for social distancing in connection with this volunteer opportunity.

Climatologist and state CoCoRaHS coordinator Pete Boulay said the data from backyard rain gauges are helpful and important in many ways.

“The information provided by volunteers helps to verify high rain totals after big events, monitor drought and flooding, make our precipitation maps more accurate, and it provides needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate,” Boulay said. “We need more volunteers to help fill gaps where people aren’t observing and reporting precipitation values.”

Volunteers are particularly needed outside the immediate Twin Cities metro area. Volunteers receive training on how to observe weather trends and how to submit their precipitation and weather event reports. All training material is available online. They must purchase or provide a standard four-inch rain gauge (available at discount through CoCoRaHS), and have internet access to submit reports.

To sign up or for more information, visit CoCoRaHS.org or contact Pete Boulay at peter.boulay@state.mn.us.