You can make a real contribution to science by being a backyard meteorologist. All you have to do is join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network—CoCoRaHS. You will join thousands of volunteers across the country who take daily measurements of precipitation (rain, hail, or snow) from their location. Or, even if no precipitation falls, that is also data to be reported!
Volunteers can attend in-person training sessions or learn how to participate on-line through various resources, including YouTube videos and PowerPoint slide shows. After entering measurements into the database on the CoCoRaHS website, the data then appears on a map along with all the other data collected by the citizen scientists in the CoCoRaHS network.
All this data makes an important contribution to many organizations and individuals. These include the National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito control managers, ranchers and farmers, outdoor and recreation managers, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit the CoCoRaHS website and use their data.
Some of these users are the same ones who will use the precipitation, snow cover, and severe storms (the kind that produce hail) data that the GOES-R satellite will provide.
You not only will be making a valuable contribution that helps others, but you will also have a chance to make some new friends and learn something!
The major sponsors of CoCoRaHS are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Check it out at http://www.cocorahs.org.