Citizen Monitoring: CoCoRHaS

Bob Myrick showcasing a CoCoRHaS gauge

Bob Myrick showcasing a CoCoRHaS gauge

After meeting with representatives from the Bow River Basin Council to discuss the citizen-based precipitation monitoring program called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS, some monitoring and science staff are now participating by setting up their own precipitation monitoring gauges.

CoCoRaHS is a non-profit, network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation using low-cost instrumentation and focusing on training and education. CoCoRaHS started in the late 1990s after an extreme precipitation event caused flooding in Colorado state. The standard rain gauges set up at weather stations in the state recorded little rainfall because they were not set up in the right locations to capture the isolated but intense rain storms that caused the flood. From this event, there was a need and a desire to gather precipitation information at more locations up-stream from the flooded areas.

The data gathered through CoCoRaHS is used by meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, the agricultural community, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbours in the community. The primary sponsors of CoCoRaHS are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Precipitation data is collected daily by volunteers and then entered through an iPhone/Android application and appear on a national map (map at There are 10 stations in Alberta, over 200 stations in Canada and thousands across the U.S.

Bob Myrick (pictured), Air Monitoring Lead and Acting Head of Monitoring, is CAN-AB-10 near Sherwood Park and is the 10th Alberta CoCoRaHS station. Maurya Braun, a consultant, is Edmonton 5.8 WSW – AEMERA. They are “CoCoRaHSers” and proud of it!