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November-December 2010

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The Value of the Citizen Weather Observer

Long before your neighborhood hardware store stocked a selection of easy-mounting, low-cost rain gauges, people of all walks of life were already fascinated by weather and were out taking measurements. Today, in nearly every community, there are diligent weather watchers who gaze at clouds and note the winds and the temperature. Thousands of these weather watchers are compelled to measure and record these changing weather conditions day after day—perhaps writing on a kitchen calendar or in a journal, or updating a spreadsheet on their computer. Their day isn't complete unless they check their rain gauge and write it down.

NOLAN DOESKEN is the State Climatologist for Colorado at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University and is long-time Cooperative Weather Observer for the NWS at the Fort Collins, Colorado, weather station. Nolan also founded the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network (CoCoRaHS).

HENRY REGES is the National Coordinator for the CoCoRaHS network, and he has helped build volunteer leadership teams to expand CoCoRaHS nationally. Henry also works at the Colorado Climate Center and is an avid traveler, gardener and photographer.

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