The National Weather Service is looking for volunteer rainfall observers in Rhode Island for its Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network.
Volunteers report rainfall and snowfall totals in their area and the goal is to have one reporting station in each community in the Ocean State. Observers submit information about precipitation daily through a website or a mobile app.
Nationwide, over the past year, more than 20,000 observers submitted over 4 million reports nationwide, the Weather Service said.
Currently, Rhode Island has 68 active stations, but only about half of them report frequently. Specifically, the service said it was looking for new observers in the following locations, but new observers in other communities are also welcome to join: Hopkinton, Exeter, South Kingstown, New Shoreham (Block Island), North Kingstown, Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls Johnston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Scituate, Warren, West Greenwich, and Woonsocket.
Drinking water systems, rivers, lawns, and gardens all depend on precipitation, and what falls in one town can be different from the next. Measuring and reporting rainfall and snowfall is one small measurement, yet it makes one giant impact upon the millions that depend upon water, the service said.
The observations are used by the National Weather Service, not only for listings in storm reports, but more importantly for water resource management. Observers supplement precipitation reports from automated stations at airports and greatly improve the quality of monthly drought summaries for Rhode Island officials, the service said. The more reports that are included leads to a more complete picture of statewide precipitation.
For more information or to sign up to be an observer, visit cocorahs.org.