NWS looking for volunteer weather observers
by National Weather Service - Riverton, Wyoming office
July 16, 2012
The National Weather Service (NWS) Office in Riverton is looking for volunteers to record once daily weather observations in Big Piney, Cora, and LaBarge. Current weather observers are retiring and the NWS hopes to find new observers to help continue the long history of weather data in southwest Wyoming.
The NWS Cooperative Observer Program, or COOP, consists of more than 11,000 volunteers nationwide. The volunteers live or work on farms, in urban and suburban areas, National Parks, seashores, and mountain tops. Some businesses and government agencies are also volunteers. COOP observational data directly supports the NWS climate program and field operations.
In an effort to keep the data relatively consistent, the NWS is hoping to attract new COOP volunteers that could operate near the current station locations. The current Big Piney and LaBarge stations are located within the town limits and each have been in operation for over 50 years. At Cora, the current station is in the vicinity of the intersection of County Road 100 and Monte Vista Road. Records in Cora began in 1979.
Data consistency, and therefore the station location, is very important given the primary mission of the COOP program which is to provide observational meteorological data to help maintain a long-term climate record.
Additionally, the program provides near real-time data to support weather forecast, warning, and other public service programs of the NWS.
Volunteer observers take and record a once daily observation of high and low temperatures, rainfall, and snowfall. The observation is typically recorded in the morning between approximately 6 and 9 a.m. and submitted to the NWS through an online interface. All equipment, materials, and training will be provided by the NWS.
Those with an interest in volunteering to become new observers in these areas should contact the NWS Riverton office at 1-800-211-1448 or e-mail data acquisition program manager Ralph Estell (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.