Calling All Weather Geeks in New Jersey
Do you consider yourself to be a weather "geek, nerd or weenie”?
If so, you’re in luck.
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, Snow Network wants you!
“This is a group of citizen scientists who go out on a daily basis or as often as they’re able to, and they measure rainfall in a standard rain gauge, they measure snow on the ground and snowfall, and occasionally if we get some hail they’ll record that as well,” said New Jersey State Climatologist at Rutgers University Dave Robinson, who heads up CoCoRaHS.
He said there are about 250 CoCoRaHS volunteers throughout the Garden State, gathering data that’s used in many different ways.
“It provides an invaluable resource in knowing where precipitation is falling, and likewise where it’s not falling,” he said.
“It’s just a wonderful tool that’s used by river forecast centers for flooding conditions. It’s used by the department of Agriculture.
He noted statistics are kept at the state climate office and also sent to the national archives and used in a variety of weather and climate studies.
Lynn Maun, a resident of Upper Deerfield Township, has been a CoCoRaHS volunteer for years.
“I like stats and seeing what’s going on. I can go back for years and see how much precipitation we’ve had in the area, and I try to encourage other people to do it,” she said.
Another CoCoRaHS volunteer, Brian Budney, of Flemington, said he became interested in weather as a child. He studied meteorology in College and his favorite movie is "Twister."
When asked whether he prefers to be called a weather geek, a weather nerd or a weather weenie, he said definitely weather geek is best.
“In the social hierarchy, I would say 'geek' is much higher on the scale,” he said.
Maun thinks being called weather geek is a compliment.
“I don’t have a problem with that, I don’t have a problem with that kind of a label. I think that’s kind of cool,” she said.
Robinson described his citizen scientists as "weather enthusiasts."
“I myself started keeping weather records as a 4th grader. I just always had an interest in the weather, it’s a bit of a passion,” he said
He pointed out the data that’s collected supplements information gathered electronically by 68 weather stations all over New Jersey.
“There’s just a myriad of uses for this type of information,” he said.
Robinson says if you would like to join the program, now is a great time to do it at CoCoRaHS.org
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