Gauging Precipitation: The Old Fashioned Way

Mar 7, 2016

The National Weather Service and the Iowa Agriculture Department say the human touch often beats automation when it comes to measuring precipitation.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says volunteers are needed across the state. He says all that’s required is an interest in the weather and a special rain gauge.

“The opening of the gauge is four inches in diameter,  much different than what you’d find at the hardware store, it offers a better catch, therefore more representative of what’s going in. “ he says.

The project is known as CoCoRaHS which stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network.   All fifty states and Canada participate. The data collected is used for such things as accessing drought conditions or predicting flooding.  Weather observers are needed in all 99 counties, but especially in Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Worth, Adams, Louisa, Davis and Van Buren counties.