An Eye to the Sky: More Weather Watchers Needed
Everybody has a calling in life, and for New Hope resident Steve Reckers, it didn’t take long for him to discover that he has a passion for the weather.
“I’ve been interested it in since I can remember,” said Reckers, a weather watcher. “Four, 5 years old probably. always just very interested in temperature and how much snow was falling, how much rain was falling.”
Several times a day, he uses the equipment in his back yard to measure the temperature and the precipitation (which, by the way, the Twin Cities got a lot of in April).
“I reported 4.71 inches of rain, which is above normal by about an inch and a quarter,” Reckers said.
He knows that it’s above normal because in a file cabinet in his basement, he has records dating back to the late 1950s.
Every day, he sends the data he compiles to the “Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network,” also known as CoCoRaHS (pronounced KO-ko-rozz).
Recruiting for CoCoRaHS
“[Steve’s] really the weather historian of the northwest metro, and we’re just grateful to him for everything,” said Michelle Margraf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
Margraf leads the regional CoCoRaHS network and is looking for more dedicated weather watchers like Reckers to measure precipitation, snowfall and snow depth.
“These manual measurements are vital to our understanding of the climate, and we’re simply grateful for anybody who would be willing to help share this information,” she said.
Reckers is one of 20,000 people nationwide who take on this role.
“It’s really been a hobby and something that I really enjoy doing,” Reckers said.
While he receives no compensation for this hobby, he has the satisfaction of knowing that the data he collects can be put to good use (such as determining the level of drought in the state, knowing how much water is going to rise in the rivers, and how the climate is changing over time).
He hopes others follow in his footsteps.
“It presents a pretty good picture of what’s happening throughout the state you know, in terms of precipitation and so forth,” Reckers said.
For more information on CoCoRaHS and how to sign up, you can go to the CoCoRaHS website.