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The National Weather Service needs your help

Have you ever been interested in helping the National Weather Service make more accurate forecasts? Is helping others something you want to do? If so, the CoCoRaHS network is for you! But, what exactly is CoCoRaHS?

We asked Senior Meteorologist Sam Lashley with the National Weather Service in Northern Indiana: "CoCoRaHs is a grass-roots volunteer network of weather observers. People who just want to help the weather service out and take valuable weather observations. And that information then helps the Weather Service and climatologists and researchers understand precipitation patterns and help forecast big rainfall events." 

CoCoRaHS reports were especially valuable and important during the recent historic flooding in February. And the reports could prove essential in saving life and property during future extreme rain or snow events.

"Having a dense network of people taking these observations and reporting them daily is critical for us to know if that water is going to flow into the St. Joseph River, or into the Elkhart River or to Yellow River," Lashley says.

While there are some parts of Michiana that need observers more than others, the National Weather Service encourages everyone to sign up!

"Anywhere from La Porte to Elkhart County, Berrien County, Cass, St. Joe Michigan. We really need to fill in the gaps with observers up there so when we have the next extreme rainfall event, we can get faster warnings out to people about the rivers and where the flooding is going to be."

There are some steps that you need to take to join the CoCoRaHS network, but the process is quite simple. This link has everything you need to begin sending reports to the National Weather Service right here in Northern Indiana!

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