Citizen science for a rainy day

By March 24th, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Comment

Rainlog screen cap

So, apparently, it rains in Arizona…Just kidding. Of course, it does!

Despite being one of the driest states in the U.S., Arizona still has its share of rain. In fact, there is a network of over 1000 citizen scientists who are monitoring that rain to help track drought status and support resource management decisions in Arizona and surrounding states.

The project is called Rainlog, and all you need to participate is a home or garden rain gauge, access to the Internet, and a few minutes to enter your rain measurements. All the data will be available in real-time on a Google Map.

If you don’t have a handy rain gauge sitting around, you can purchase one right on the Rainlog site. For $12, you’ll get a weather-resistent Tru-Check rain gauge, which allows you to measure from small rainfall amounts all the way up to six inches of rain.

Examples of a rain gauge (Rainlog.org)

Examples of rain gauge (Rainlog.org)

Why does Rainlog need your help? Turns out that Arizona has highly variable precipitation, particularly during its monsoon season. Having lived there for 18 years, I can personally vouch for that! A better understanding of rainfall patterns will help local, county, and state organizations plan for droughts and manage watershed activities.

Rainlog is definitely a citizen science project to save for a *rainy* day! Pun INTENDED.

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