Becoming Ellis County Weather Watchers

By Carolyn Gritzmaker

Members of the Indian Trail Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program recently visited the National Weather Service and West Gulf River Forecast Center offices in Fort Worth after completing training to become observers for CoCoRaHS.

CoCoRaHS is an acronym for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.  It is a nationwide volunteer organization of people of all ages who provide accurate measurements of precipitation on a daily basis.  In addition, the volunteers provide timely information on intense storms, detailed reports of hail, accurately measure snow fall and accumulation of snow as well as submitting drought impact statements from time to time.

All reports of hail and intense weather are automatically transmitted to the National Weather Service and may be critical to alert forecasters of threatening weather.  The observations from CoCoRaHS volunteers supplement the data used at the West Gulf River Forecast Center to create the best quality precipitation data sets for use in the hydrologic models and the generation of precipitation graphics.

If you are interested in becoming a CoCoRaHS observer, please visit   Training is important for accurate, consistent and comparable data.  This is available online on the CoCoRaHS website and also through the Indian Trail Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program.   You may contact the Indian Trail Chapter at the AgriLife Extension office in Waxahachie: Phone: 972.825.5175 or through our website:

Photo credit West Gulf River Forecast Center.

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