Tired of being just a passive victim of the weather? Well, you can take an active role in observing the weather, and make a real contribution to science in the bargain. Get involved with CoCoRaHS, an organization of volunteers dedicated to recording and reporting on precipitation across the United States.

The group, the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network, is looking to expand, and they're meeting Friday, at noon, at the NOAA offices in Silver Spring to spread the word. Here's their release: 

On Friday, February 15, 2008, Henry Reges and Nolan Doesken of Colorado State will present "CoCoRaHS
, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network."

Abstract: What do meteorologists, hydrologists, farmers, emergency managers, newspaper reporters, golfers and baseball players have in common? They all keep track of precipitation! Precipitation is one of the most important of all climate elements for daily life. Yet, precipitation varies tremendously from place to place and from month to month and year to year. These variations have widespread impacts. This seminar will describe a project where people of all ages, using very simple and low cost instruments, are helping scientists study storms and precipitation patterns. Volunteers provide valuable data for NOAA applications while learning directly about climate processes, impacts and research. Methods for measuring rain, hail and snow will be demonstrated, and CoCoRaHS results will be shown including precipitation patterns from recent storms.

The seminar will be held at 12 noon in the NOAA Central Library, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, 2nd Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Henry Reges is the National Coordinator for CoCoRaHS at Colorado State University. He was formerly with the American Meteorological Society in Boston, MA. Nolan Doesken is the State Climatologist for Colorado and has worked for the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University since 1977. He initiated the CoCoRaHS project after an extremely localized storm in 1997 dropped over 14 inches (350 mm) of rain near his home but was not well detected by existing observing systems. Nolan Doesken has worked closely with National Weather Service headquarters on several snow measurement projects.