As Hurricane Isaac makes landfall this morning, testing the infrastructure improvements following Hurricane Katrina, our thoughts are with the people of New Orleans for their continued safety. For weeks, scientists around the country have been studying the storm, tracking his progress and predicting his direction. With only a rain gauge, you can help them better react to future storms by recording and sharing your on-the-ground measurements and observations with various local watershed monitoring projects and citizen science networks.
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hall and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) collects precipitation data from volunteers across the country for inclusion in an interactive map used by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (among others) to monitor local weather trends. SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer weather spotters trained by local National Weather Service Forecast Office to recognize and report the signs of severe storms; these first-hand accounts of the storm’s impact are as valuable to forecasters as hard data as they send out public statements, warnings, and advisories to concerned citizens. And for kids, the National Science Foundation funded Tracking Climate in Your Backyard, to engage youth in the collection of meaningful data.
Also, here are some important resources that help you stay safe by answering some important questions about how Hurricane Isaac is impacting your community. How fast is the nearest stream rising? How can I monitor the storm surge? How fast is the wind blowing? What’s the situation offshore? What does Hurricane Isaac look like? Show it to me from space!