Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of seeing rain falling in the distance but never feeling a drop in your location? If so, you know how variable precipitation can be!
Case in point, in August of this year local reports tell us that total rainfall in Fairfield County ranged from 1.9 inches to as much as 4.89 inches. That’s not only the difference between needing to water your garden or not, but also has a significant impact on crop yields throughout the county!
Our Fairfield County Extension AgNR Educator Carrie Brown knows how valuable this localized rainfall information can be to agricultural producers, home owners, construction workers, public utilities, emergency managers, and even insurance adjusters. As a result, she's initiated an effort to collaborate with Fairfield County community members who are hosting designated rain gauges in their own backyards and fields. These Precipitation Monitors observe and submit rainfall measurements each morning to an online platform known as CoCoRaHS, where this data becomes available to the public. CoCoRaHS, Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, is a national grassroots, non-profit, community-based group made up of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.
These citizen scientists take daily precipitation measurements in their own backyards using low-cost measurement tools, including a 4” diameter high capacity rain gauge. Once trained, volunteers report their daily observations to CoCoRaHS via a phone app or computer. These rainfall measurements are then displayed on maps on the CoCoRaHS website. With over 20,000 active contributors across North America, Precipitation Monitors make a big impact.
If you'd like to participate or want more details, contact Carrie Brown at OSU Extension at 740-277-4630. And, in the mean time, see the maps below to see what Fairfield County's Precipitation Monitors have already reported this summer, and then check back each month for updates.