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By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The National Weather Service is looking for CoCoRahs. That stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow  Network, a nonprofit network of volunteer precipitation observers.All you need is a 4-inch rain gauge, the Internet, and a few minutes each day.

Observers are especially needed in California’s rural areas, where there are few if any observers.

At East County Magazine, we know this is true in East County. We’ve been known to call up businesses in Julian and ask the proprietor to go poke a stick in the snow and tell us how deep it is, since there is no official weather observation site in Julian, but everyone wants to know when there’s enough slow for sledding and snowball fights!

Observation sites can be right in your own backyard, or in schools, gardens, nurseries, or residential communities. Even offices can participate—so you can know how much rain falls in your community.

There’s even an App that’s just been launched, so you can report via your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, or look up past reports.  There’s also a website with even more helpful information.

This data is valuable to the National Weather service, hydrologists, and farmers as well as residents.  To learn more or sign up, visit Cocorahs.org. That’s spelled COCORAHS.org.

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