We are working with a few other organizations on developing a new volunteer daily precipitation measurement network in Atlantic Canada. The network is called CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow) network which has been in operation in the US for many years with about 15000 active observers. The data is good quality, used by the NWS and other organizations and based on similar manual observation procedures as our EC Volunteer Climate Network. CoCoRaHS is now in Canada and started in Manitoba in 2011 in part to help address a significant need for more high quality precipitation data; Rain, Snow, Snow on Ground and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) to support flood forecasting and other water management needs. So far we have about 130 active volunteers in those two provinces.
EC is working with CoCoRaHS Canada to help establish this network in all provinces. Scotia Weather Services (Dartmouth NS) is working with us to expand this network into all 4 Atlantic provinces for this coming Winter. Our goal for this Winter is to recruit at least 100 volunteer observers to make daily precipitation observations and enter their data on the CoCoRaHS Canada web site: http://www.cocorahs.org/Canada.aspx This web site allows users to view their data in tabular and Google Map format within minutes of submitting. In the longer term all of the CoCoRaHS data will be ingested in real time into the Environment Canada National Climate Archive and made available on our forecaster’s workstations to support their requirements.
We think that given the weather support expertise both CANWARN and the IRG have provided to Environment Canada over the years that there will be some interest in getting involved with this important initiative. We’d really appreciate your assistance in promoting this opportunity to both groups. Although this project is a one year pilot our intention and hope is that volunteers will continue to participate well beyond the duration of this pilot. CoCoRaHS in Atlantic Canada will continue to grow, be promoted and help fill an important observational gap well into the future.
There is additional information on CoCoRaHS Canada at the web site above. Scotia Weather has also put together an information sheet with more details on this project and sign-up procedures through their web site (see attached).
Note that observer equipment will in the majority of cases be provided free of charge (2 rain gauges, aluminum 1m snow ruler and snow board). One of the goals of the project is to establish new observation sites to ensure optimal spatial coverage and where we have a requirement for more data so the provision of free kits will be determined from application information submitted through the Scotia Weather web site.
To find out more about the project
visit ScotiaWeather http://www.scotiaweather.com/snow/
To find out more about CoCoRaHS, visit the
CoCoRaHS Canada site http://www.cocorahs.org/Canada.aspx