Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says volunteers are needed as part of a national network of weather observers.
The data that’s collected by the volunteer observers is available for free online and helps the National Weather Service with flood forecasting, drought assessments, and more.
The CoCoRaHS network was established in Colorado in 1998 and has spread to all 50 states. Iowa joined the volunteer network in 2007. Hillaker says weather observers are needed statewide, but the most critical needs are in Osceola County, among others.