Dakota County Environmental Resources

Water Resources - Volunteer Rainfall and Weather Monitors

General Description 

Do you have an interest in the weather? Are you looking for a way to do something for the environment from your location? Or how about a great classroom or family activity that provides an easy way for kids to get involved with science? 

Volunteer as a rainfall monitor for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) coordinated through the state climatology office in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure rainfall in their backyards using a standard 4-inch diameter rain gauge and submit their reports online. The program also collects snowfall and reports hail among other weather observations. The data is used by the National Weather Service, researchers, cities and a wide range of industries.

Data provided by volunteers:

  • Verifies high rainfall totals after big events
  • Provides critical information during flooding events
  • Monitors drought conditions
  • Provides needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate

To become a Rainfall Monitor, you must:

  • Have internet access to submit reports by computer or using the CoCoRaHS Observer weather app on your smartphone
  • Provide or purchase a standard 4-inch rain gauge (discounts are available through CoCoRaHS)
  • Complete online training on how to observe weather trends and how to submit precipitation and weather event reports online
  • Commit to submitting reports for at least one season

Volunteers are particularly needed in Greater Minnesota outside the Twin Cities metro area.  

To sign up:

Qualifications Required

  • Accepted Data Privacy Notice - Tennessen Notice Must be Yes
  • Signed Volunteer Waiver Must be at least Yes