South Dakota State University
South Dakota Climate and Weather

CoCoRAHS Network
(CoCoRAHS: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow)

CoCoRAHS reaches South Dakota, The Mount Rushmore State !!

CoCoRaHS is a grassroots volunteer non-profit, community-based network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow) in their local communities. South Dakota welcomes CoCoRAHS. The State Climate Office, National Weather Service and various counties in the State are looking for volunteers and sponsors to collect and report rainfall, hail and snow. Several counties in the state already have enthusiastic volunteers ready to take daily readings and report them. County extension staff from South Dakota State University and/or volunteers from each county will organize the network for their county. Training and information brochure will be distributed to participants of CoCoRAHS Network. Training schedule will be displayed and updated on our website.

Hot Topic:
Where can I buy rain gauges? Here you go: - username coco, password rahs (more)
Do we have training material online? Yes, here it is (more)

If you would like to become the coordinator or volunteer for a county, please let us know.
What is CoCoRaHS??
CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. We are currently operating in eighteen states: Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Nebraska’s Network is called NeRAIN
What are the goals?
  • To provide accurate high-quality precipitation data to observers, decision makers and other end-users on a timely basis
  • To act as an umbrella for one-stop precipitation information nationwide. The ambition is to increase the density of precipitation data available
    throughout the country by encouraging volunteer weather observing, as well as by collaborating with existing precipitation networks
  • To increase community awareness about our weather by inspiring and encouraging citizens to participate in meteorological science and have fun doing so
  • To provide enrichment activities in water and weather resources for teachers, educators and the community at large; thus, building a collective awareness of our climate and develop citizen’s skills in scientific data collection
Who can participate?
This is a community project. Everyone can help, young, old, and in-between. The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can effect and impact our lives. Each county participating in CoCoRAHS network will be assigned a county coordinator. Volunteers can sign up and communicate with the county coordinator from time to time. If you are willing to become a coordinator for your county, please let us know by emailing or calling the State Climatologist Dr. Dennis Todey ( or 605-688-5143)
What will our volunteer observers be doing?
Each time a rain, hail or snow storm crosses your area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from as many locations as possible (see equipment). These precipitation reports are then recorded on our Web site The data are then displayed and organized for many of our end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from water resource analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.
Who uses CoCoRaHS?
CoCoRaHS is used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit our Web site and use our data. Especially with drought conditions, it is important for farmers in the state to know how rainfall has affected others in the community and accordingly schedule irrigation. CoCoRAHS network, with many volunteers, allows not only farmers look at dry or wet conditions but also aids private and government bodies in making major decisions.
What do we hope to accomplish?
CoCoRaHS has several goals (as stated in our mission statement). 1) provide accurate high-quality precipitation data for our many end users on a timely basis; 2) increasing the density of precipitation data available throughout the country by encouraging volunteer weather observing; 3) encouraging citizens to have fun participating in meteorological science and heightening their awareness about weather; 4) providing enrichment activities in water and weather resources for teachers, educators and the community at large to name a few.
Who is sponsoring this network?
The National Science Foundation is a major sponsor of CoCoRaHS. The CoCoRAHS network in South Dakota is inviting sponsors for rain gauges, which costs about $25 each. We are hoping to see counties fund for rain gauges for volunteers in their counties. The State Climate Office and the National Weather Service will be helping out with purchase of a few rain gauges. If volunteers already have a rain gauge and would like to report their data, please do not hesitate to contact your county coordinator. We will have a list of county coordinators on our website soon.
What benefits are there in volunteering?
One of the neat things about participating in this network is coming away with the feeling that you have made an important contribution that helps others. By providing your daily observation, you help to fill in a piece of the weather puzzle that affects many across your area in one way or another. You also will have the chance to make some new friends as you do something important and learn some new things along the way. In some areas, activities are organized for network participants including training sessions, field trips, special speakers, picnics, pot-luck dinners, and photography contests just to name a few.
How can I sign up?
Please consult your county coordinator before becoming a CoCoRAHS observer. We suggest that you go through a short and informative training. Training will be held through DDN and through community-based knowledge sharing. We will have a list of training schedules on our website shortly.
Where can I buy rain gauges?
Visit to buy rain gauges for CoCoRAHS. Users should click on the white linked image. The username is coco and password is rahs. Users should use their credit or debit card (or paypal account) to buy rain gauges off of their website.
Do we have training material online?
Visit CoCoRAHS Online training material web page.

Visit CoCoRAH's main page at