The resources described on the previous page offer a wealth of weather data, summaries, forecasts, and interpretations. Yet, many locations across the state are lacking consistent, reliable observations. You may wish to contribute to the observation network by logging and reporting weather observations at your own home.
Within the state of Arizona, a rainfall monitoring cooperative is housed at www.rainlog.org. Volunteers track daily precipitation totals and submit them via an online data entry form. Data posted is then made available in real-time maps. All that is needed to participate is a rain gauge and access to the Internet.
In many other states in the nation, volunteers may record and submit rain, hail, and snow observations as part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), online at www.cocorahs.org. Based at the Colorado Climate Center, at Colorado State University, this network has existed since 1998 and boasts thousands of volunteers in eighteen states.
Home Weather Stations
If high-tech is your bag, you can monitor a variety of weather variables at your home for an investment of a few hundred dollars. Many types of home weather stations exist, including styles with tipping bucket rain gauges, humidity sensors, wind vanes and anemometers (measuring wind speed), and more. Some units will download data directly to a personal computer for archive; many display current conditions on a digital display. Simply type “home weather station” into a search engine and explore the possibilities!
Handheld Weather Stations
Handheld weather instruments are useful for taking instantaneous measurements in many locations. These portable units record a variety of parameters, including temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. Some units will log measurements that can be downloaded to a personal computer for analysis.