Busy Winter for Storm Spotter Network - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Busy Winter for Storm Spotter Network

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Storm spotters in Ohio use snow gauges to measure the amount of snow was received. Storm spotters in Ohio use snow gauges to measure the amount of snow was received.

Scioto County Spotter Reports More Snow This Past Winter Than Previous Three Winters Combined

There was more snow this year than normal in many parts of the region. Observations from the National Weather Service clearly indicate that.  However there is another network of observers that have been adding to the historic record.  These observers are a part of the growing online community known as the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow network.  For short, the NWS calls it "CoCoRaHS."

There are just over a dozen CoCoRaHS participants in the 13 News viewing area. These volunteers purchase an official rain gauge for roughly $30 and report precipitation once a day. The data is collected and goes to a central location where the Weather Service and researchers can access it. 

One of the most active participants in our region is Scioto County Ohio resident Gregory Syroney who is also an active storm chaser. 

"I think that it is very important to report precipitation, snowfall, and melted snowfall on a daily basis," says Syroney. "And I like to know exactly how much rainfall and snowfall we have at my location."

His hobby of storm chasing began when he was only 13 years old and worked with his father on the Rarden, Ohio Volunteer Fire Department cleaning up after severe storms. A look at Syroney's snowfall records in Scioto County show this past winter was a whopper with over 56 inches of snow in the Rosemount area.  He tells 13 News that it's the most snow he has seen at his current location and it's more snow than the previous three winters combined.  His records, put together with other CoCoRaHS observers will help meteorologists get a better detailed historical record of the winter that was, as well as being able to compare the results with some of the storm patterns in the hopes of better forecasting in the future.

 Reports like Syroney's are very welcome by local NWS offices.

"With all of the great technology we have at our finger tips such as radar and satellite imagery, the NWS still values and depends upon a  local observation.  The radar might estimate a certain amount of rain has fallen across an area, but it might actually be more or less than what it estimated based on the storm duration and intensity.  A dense CoCoRaHS network helps us to fill in the gaps," says Faith Borden, the warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Charleston, WV.

Data for the precipitation reports can be accessed at the CoCoRaHS website by going to http://www.cocorahs.org/viewdata/


Data for Syroney's individual site can be found at http://cocorahsohsc4.stormchasercenter.net/