CoCoRaHs Raingauge before storm

Public Invited to Webinar on Citizen Science

By Ellen Gray, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Original Press Release (published 2/6/13)

NASA and the Community, Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) run by Colorado State University, Fort Collins, invite the public to participate in a free webinar to promote citizen science that involves rain and snow measurements across the United States.

CoCoRaHS rain gauge CoCoRaHS rain gauge after a storm.

Image Credit: Henry Reges / CoCoRaHS HQ

CoCoRaHS is a citizen scientist network with more than 16,000 volunteers nationwide that encourages volunteers of all ages to record and monitor precipitation using accurate, low-cost rain gauges. The organization is working with NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a new satellite mission that will help advance the understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles and improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters.

To launch their collaboration, NASA and CoCoRaHS will host a free webinar Feb. 13 featuring Dalia Kirschbaum, GPM application scientist and education and outreach coordinator, and Gail Skofronick-Jackson, GPM deputy project scientist, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center inGreenbelt, Md. The scientists will share details of the GPM mission with teachers and other members of the public and discuss how ground-based observations such as those from CoCoRaHS can contribute to the broader understanding of precipitation processes and interactions between the sea, air and land that produce changes in global rainfall and climate.

To attend the webinar, register at:

“There is a broad range of applications for GPM mission data that extends across socioeconomic sectors on the domestic and international level. That includes forecasting extreme events, improving agriculture models, and improving our understanding of tropical and extratropical cyclones and hurricanes,” said Kirschbaum.

CoCoRaHS rain gauge CoCoRaHS rain gauge before storm.

Image Credit: Henry Reges/ CoCoRaHS HQ

The combination of NASA’s advancements in satellite technology will complement the enthusiasm of weather hobbyists around the nation as they contribute and report ground measurements of precipitation and real-world photographs of weather phenomena.

“By connecting what we observe from satellites with observations made by our CoCoRaHS network, we hope to improve understanding of how ground and satellite products can be used together to help monitor water resources and natural disasters such as floods,” said Nolan Doesken, state climatologist of Colorado and CoCoRaHS project director at Colorado State.

GPM is an international satellite mission led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The GPM Core Observatory, to launch in 2014, will carry advanced instruments and have wider coverage of Earth's surface, allowing the mission to expand on the success of its predecessor, the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). In addition, the GPM Core Observatory will bring together rain measurements made by partner satellites from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the space agencies of Japan, France and India and combine them into a global data set. Several different types of ground validation efforts at both local and global scales are being conducted to ensure that the precipitation measurements observed from space match what we experience at the surface.

For more information on NASA’s Precipitation Education program, visit:

For more information about CoCoRaHS or to volunteer, visit: