Author Topic: Cocorahs: recommended changes  (Read 2561 times)

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Offline dcriner

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Cocorahs: recommended changes
« on: May 09, 2017, 08:37:25 PM »
They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.
Doug

Offline DW7240

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 10:08:09 PM »
Hi,

I agree with you dcriner, my only concern with your suggestion is that COCORAHS don't recognise any form of electronic readings, they only want readings from their own specified gauges, namely their own 4" plastic funnel and tube.

What they should do is find a suitable electronic (tipping bucket) gauge, but clearly more accurate then the Davis models (as we have read on this forum, the comparisons in readings from the two types can be wide and varied)  I personally have found these differences from using both types of gauges.  My manual readings are taken at 8:00 a.m. and compared with the Davis.  Looking at their website, and seeing the meso style map they have on their site, you will see the variations in times of readings from other users, anything from 6:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Their suggestion of 7:00 a.m. I think is the next best time from average day break (6:00 a.m.) At the end of the day, they are happy with the readings from anytime near the 7:00 a.m. criterior.

So my point to this is - electronic gauge with same specs as the manual version, and clearly at a price which is affordable to us users without compromising quality and accuracy.  Not sure if that's all achievable - hence why they don't offer anything yet to fill the gap.

Anybody else want to chip in on this, I'm sure others would benefit from ideas and views on this, after all, most of our weather stations are completely electronic, accurate, and serve a purpose, a  manual rain gauge is like going backwards - ok it maybe more accurate - but I feel it shouldn't be, if so, I'm going back to reading a wet/dry bulb thermometer and logging everything in a text book - this is how I started, no computer, nothing electronic, just simple graphs with a bit of maths thrown in for good measure.

Nick. dw7240.com.



« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 10:10:40 PM by DW7240 »


Offline miraculon

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 08:13:18 AM »
They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.

I make my observation at 8AM. They may "want" the observation at 7AM, but there is some flexibility.

On using TBR for CoCoRaHS, this would simply not work for snow conditions. The heaters in the TBR melt/evaporate a significant amount and it becomes lost from the readings.

See this: https://cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#7am

Which shows:

Quote
Do I have to check my rain gauge at 7am? No, but we would prefer it if you did. If you check your gauge at other times, your data may not be directly comparable to other data. If you check your gauge at night, your data will be in our reports but won't show up on our maps. We only map data that is collected within two hours of 7am.

My 8AM data shows in both the "New" map and the "Classic" just fine with my 8:00 AM ob. I even set the normal observation time to 8AM.

Greg H.


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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 09:31:52 AM »
They would prefer 6AM when NWS observations ends but realizing many won't make the time they compromised on 7AM.

My tipping bucket is normally very close with rain but not by accident, I spend hours calibrating several times yearly. I shoot for rain rate of 6" per hour for my area using professional calibrator and usually within .01 of 8" SRG. 

Snow won't work at all the average evaporation is around 30%.
Randy

Offline floodcaster

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 10:49:00 AM »
7am is the "ideal" time but generally 6 to 8 am is ok. Being consistent regarding reporting time of  your daily report is important. CoCoRaHS uses the same type of manual gauge for a couple of reasons...accuracy and consistency. With all observers using the same gauge we are comparing "apples to apples".   -Bill

From the CoCoRaHS web site:
Quote
Why does CoCoRaHS not use automated rain gauges?

We are often asked why CoCoRaHS does not encourage the use of automatic rain gauges to report 24 hour precipitation totals.  After all, many weather enthusiasts already have electronic home weather stations with automatic rain gauges to record precipitation  -  why should they also purchase a separate CoCoRaHS gauge?
Unfortunately, it turns out that rain gauges are not all created equal and do not all report the same.  The Colorado Climate Center has been involved in rain gauge studies for many years and have had dozens of volunteers like you test their automated gauges against either the CoCoRaHS 4" diameter gauge or the National Weather Service (NWS) 8" diameter Standard Rain Gauge.  We have also tested National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing System tipping bucket rain gauges  (not unlike the tipping bucket gauges that come with most home weather stations, but sturdier and a lot more expensive).

While the NWS and CoCoRaHS gauges compare quite well with each other (our tests indicate that the CoCoRHS gauge has a collection efficiency of 101-105% compared to the standard NWS gauge), the majority of automated rain gauges, when summed over several months or years, report less precipition than actually fell by a significant amount -- sometimes 25% or more.  Moreover, none of the automated gauges  work well in areas that receive snow.  This is not acceptable for our project because we are interested in observing and understanding natural precipitation variability, as accurately as possible.  If we're all using different kinds of gauges with different abilities to catch precipitation, it's too hard to determine if differences in rain or snowfall are "real" or due to the kind of instrument that was used to report the measurement.

Because of these test results, we have asked our observers to please set up a CoCoRaHS 4" gauge along with their automated gauge and see for themselves.  Many observers have converted to using the 4" gauge as their daily measurement when they see the results, and then use their automated gauge as a backup when they are gone.  It is very good to use the two in combination.  But whenever people do use their automated gauge as their measurement, we request that they mention that in the daily "observation notes".

For those of you who decide it's too much trouble to purchase a CoCoRaHS gauge in addition to your automatic system, you may still be able to share your data with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA - the organization that oversees the NWS) via their Citizen Weather Observation Program (CWOP).  This program makes home weather station data available to the NWS for certain real time applications. WeatherUnderground is another system for web-based data sharing. 

For climate data and research applications, as well as supporting the "NowCasting" goals of NOAA, we encourage you to use the 4" diameter high capacity manual rain gauge and join CoCoRaHS.
Bill


Offline ocala

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 04:32:46 PM »
Like it or not I leave for work about 3:15AM so that's when it gets reported.

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 06:01:50 PM »
Mine gets reported on work days at around 4:30 am +/-.
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Offline LFWX

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 09:46:35 PM »
They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.

I make my observation at 8AM. They may "want" the observation at 7AM, but there is some flexibility.

On using TBR for CoCoRaHS, this would simply not work for snow conditions. The heaters in the TBR melt/evaporate a significant amount and it becomes lost from the readings.

See this: https://cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#7am

Which shows:

Quote
Do I have to check my rain gauge at 7am? No, but we would prefer it if you did. If you check your gauge at other times, your data may not be directly comparable to other data. If you check your gauge at night, your data will be in our reports but won't show up on our maps. We only map data that is collected within two hours of 7am.

My 8AM data shows in both the "New" map and the "Classic" just fine with my 8:00 AM ob. I even set the normal observation time to 8AM.

Greg H.

Greg,

How did you change your normal observation time?  I've wanted to change mine, but can't find a way to do so.

Thanks,
Mike
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 10:09:23 PM »
They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.

I make my observation at 8AM. They may "want" the observation at 7AM, but there is some flexibility.

On using TBR for CoCoRaHS, this would simply not work for snow conditions. The heaters in the TBR melt/evaporate a significant amount and it becomes lost from the readings.

See this: https://cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#7am

Which shows:

Quote
Do I have to check my rain gauge at 7am? No, but we would prefer it if you did. If you check your gauge at other times, your data may not be directly comparable to other data. If you check your gauge at night, your data will be in our reports but won't show up on our maps. We only map data that is collected within two hours of 7am.

My 8AM data shows in both the "New" map and the "Classic" just fine with my 8:00 AM ob. I even set the normal observation time to 8AM.

Greg H.

Greg,

How did you change your normal observation time?  I've wanted to change mine, but can't find a way to do so.

Thanks,
Mike

I requested 8AM when I initially signed up. https://www.cocorahs.org/application.aspx
I see this on the form:
Quote
Rain gauge will be emptied daily at:
7:00 a.m. (highly recommended) 6:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. Other Time

I couldn't find where it can be changed, sorry. Maybe you could contact them, they are pretty responsive.

Greg H.


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CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
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Offline floodcaster

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 08:03:12 AM »
They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.

I make my observation at 8AM. They may "want" the observation at 7AM, but there is some flexibility.

On using TBR for CoCoRaHS, this would simply not work for snow conditions. The heaters in the TBR melt/evaporate a significant amount and it becomes lost from the readings.

See this: https://cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#7am

Which shows:

Quote
Do I have to check my rain gauge at 7am? No, but we would prefer it if you did. If you check your gauge at other times, your data may not be directly comparable to other data. If you check your gauge at night, your data will be in our reports but won't show up on our maps. We only map data that is collected within two hours of 7am.

My 8AM data shows in both the "New" map and the "Classic" just fine with my 8:00 AM ob. I even set the normal observation time to 8AM.

Greg H.

Greg,

How did you change your normal observation time?  I've wanted to change mine, but can't find a way to do so.

Thanks,
Mike

Mike,
Contact your state coordinator. They should be able to change your default observation time.
https://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=coord_OH

Bill
Bill


Offline JudinNorman

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 01:14:05 PM »
This is exactly why I do not belong to Cocorahs as everyone can't seem to follow simple rules. Who do you think you are that you can use improper equipment for the Cocorahs program? Why do you think your tipping bucket rain amounts should be included with many folks cocorahs gauge data who take their time to go outside in the elements?
My tin soup can rain amounts follow closely to my cocorahs gauge,  would it be appropriate for me to promote no need to buy a cocorahs gauge, just use your last nights supper empty soup can?
Jud

They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.

Offline eyecue

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 10:22:19 PM »
I report for COCORAHS and I report at 8PM. Never had an issue with it. I have the DAVIS VP2 and the 4 inch manual gauge and they are miles apart in readings. The NWS wont take the accuracy of tipping bucket and when reporting I only use it for rate of rainfall.
Cocorahs, Skywarn, Aficionado of weather. Davis VP2  pro wireless, Oregon Scientific and DIY.

Offline LeeWx

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2017, 02:08:54 AM »
The main reason for the manual official NWS gauge Cocorahs requires is it's accuracy. Electronic tipping bucket stations miss some during very heavy rain as tip can't keep up ,and also during very Lt Rain from evaporation.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 02:12:26 AM by LeeWx »

Offline galfert

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2018, 03:18:27 PM »
Surely someone can design and engineer a 4" cylinder with an electronic eye or laser sensor or a float sensor to automate the measuring level. No tipping bucket needed. Then at at 7 AM it dumps the load automatically and resets. This electronic eye or laser sensor would just need to move up or down the cylinder when taking a measurement. The float solution would just automatically measure float height by way of some electronic / mechanical mechanism.

If a laser were used it would even work for snow.

Float solution would be cheaper. It could be used everywhere it doesn't snow. Laser solution would be idea for snow climate areas and could be optional. Type of recording mechanism would be noted.

Or yet another idea is sonar. You have a sonar sensor that moves in above the water/snow and it measures the height of when it hits the water. It could even detect the difference between hitting water or snow automatically.

Yet another idea is doing it by weight. Simple automated calculation and you get the amount of water.

And maybe you incorporate 2 or more of these methods as a fail safe and send automatic alert to the custodian if there is a discrepancy.

Can't believe this hasn't been invented.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 03:43:06 PM by galfert »
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2018, 03:53:45 PM »
This is exactly why I do not belong to Cocorahs as everyone can't seem to follow simple rules. Who do you think you are that you can use improper equipment for the Cocorahs program? Why do you think your tipping bucket rain amounts should be included with many folks cocorahs gauge data who take their time to go outside in the elements?
My tin soup can rain amounts follow closely to my cocorahs gauge,  would it be appropriate for me to promote no need to buy a cocorahs gauge, just use your last nights supper empty soup can?
Jud

They want precipitation reported 7am - 7am. I don't necessarily arise that early, and want to walk out to my gauge, so I often go by my Davis weather station, as electronically recorded on weatherundergound.  (My Davis station tracks very closely with my manual Cocorahs rain gauge.)

Cocorahs should allow automatic hourly electronic data updates, and break it down however they want.
Unfortunately, you're beating a dead horse. ](*,) There are still folks who cannot tolerate a 'System Standard', and will insist some other way is 'better', 'more convenient', 'more accurate'... etc... the 'rules' will always be different for them, and I gave up years ago beating on this dead equine detritus... they simply don't accept the fact that if the other methods were acceptable, they'd be implemented.  At least, CCR and its many scientific bodies that use it's data, are relatively confident the what fell in the (standard for all observers and approved and accepted by the utilizing agencies) gauge was reported... not a tipping spoon click series that is out of cal,. of short meassuring because of dirt... etc... etc...or any of the other various methods that Aren't Standard; aren't approved or recognized, and not readily available and easily usable by all observers. 

7 am is NOT that 'critical' over the long term, but for proper registration with the data users, you should try to be within an hour...outside of that window, your data may not be incorporated by some users... if all else fails, try to consistently report at the same time daily, even if it's 10:am...

Probably one reason more folks don't report ETo to CCR...  actually takes a bit of effort, attention, maintainence and care, and again is a standardized system, and equipment.. And Soil Water Content is too heavy even for me to participate in... to do it properly.CoCoRaHs isn't Weatherunderground.
So don't beat on a horse's carcass... it ain't worth it.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 04:00:48 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Online nincehelser

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2018, 04:31:18 PM »
Can't believe this hasn't been invented.

There's no problem making such a device.

The issue is making such a device inexpensive enough for common use.

Offline galfert

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2018, 07:09:51 AM »
Can't believe this hasn't been invented.

There's no problem making such a device.

The issue is making such a device inexpensive enough for common use.

Ah come on man. People balk at spending $25 for a plain cylinder. But if you add electronics with buttons, LEDs, and LCDs they will be buying it in droves at a few hundred dollars without even thinking twice. I know I would. The more gadgets the better.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2018, 08:24:24 AM »
Can't believe this hasn't been invented.

There's no problem making such a device.

The issue is making such a device inexpensive enough for common use.

Ah come on man. People balk at spending $25 for a plain cylinder. But if you add electronics with buttons, LEDs, and LCDs they will be buying it in droves at a few hundred dollars without even thinking twice. I know I would. The more gadgets the better.


More evidence for an alternate universe, "purty gadgets", bells, whistles, lights, ... I like 'em too.. but just visit 'em, try to stay within the established, accepted, published protocols for actually reporting data in conformance to those paradigms...  since I chose to participate in such protocols, it would seem incumbent for me to adhere to them.  So I Do.
Virtually every 'suggestion' or 'they should" which seem to come up in cycles here on the forums have ben vetted, attempted, experimented with over the years... why don't they use them?
...duh....  #-o
 

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2018, 08:56:01 AM »
There's no problem making such a device.

The issue is making such a device inexpensive enough for common use.

Ah come on man. People balk at spending $25 for a plain cylinder. But if you add electronics with buttons, LEDs, and LCDs they will be buying it in droves at a few hundred dollars without even thinking twice. I know I would. The more gadgets the better.


You aren't understanding the volunteer base in this project.  A good number just aren't interested in those things.

I'm with Cutty... if the volunteers are happy with how things are working now, just let it be.

Offline SLOweather

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Re: Cocorahs: recommended changes
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2018, 09:50:49 AM »
Back to galfert's post. A weighing gauge would be really easy to implement. Simply put the Stratus style gauge on a scale with an output. Rather like the old original recording rain gauges:



There was one at the wastewater plant I worked at decades ago. Might have been made by Belfort, and it was totally mechanical, nothing electrical or electronic. It had a wind up clockwork to drive the chart drum, which I think went for a week, or maybe a month.

 

anything