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We don’t get but 4 or 5 days of temperatures in the 90s each year. This year we not only had about 15 but we also had 4 that were in the 100s. One day even hit 108. Add in about 40% humidity and you have some pretty miserable weather. (For those of you not familiar with the Puget Sound, we live about 25 miles east of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The temperatures are generally about 10 degrees warmer on sunny days and 10 degrees cooler on clear nights. If it is windy and rainy, the temperatures stay pretty uniform around the area due to the winds mixing of the atmosphere.) I generally don’t mind the heat having spend many weeks in the Army training in full combat gear when the temps were near 120. You get used to it and though it isn’t fun, it is tolerable. Well the opposite is true when you get used to the mild weather of the Pacific Northwest. You become much less tolerant of temperature extremes and they become down right miserable. Well today was one of those days. Yes 95 was MISERABLE! Try it with the flu, a fever and no air conditioning and see if you don’t agree. On second though … pass! It wasn’t any fun.

I did get the weather station back up and running again. I will get a web feed from the weather station and post a link in the blog sometime next week. Yeah I’m a geek but you should have seen Putz the Younger’s eyes light up when he saw the information from the base unit appear on the screen of the computer. He tried to hide his delight but his eyes told it all. Now he keeps sneaking back into the room to watch the graph change as the temperature changes. He is learning graphs and he doesn’ even know it!

There was no homeschool today. As I said before, I have the flu and Putz the Younger though feeling better was still running a fever and neither of us were in any mood to try school work. Putz the Elder even ran a fever for part of the day. When he doesn’t even care if the TV is turned on or not I know he is sick.

Now for some rest!

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Did you know that you can report the rain hail and snow that falls in your area to a data collection point and that information is then used to forecast the weather, predict floods, monitor water resources and becomes part of a large historical database that will help forecasters increase accuracy when predicting precipitation in local forecasts. Hows that for adding realism to your weather studies?

As you know weather reporting stations are located across the country but the weather between any two of those stations can vary dramatically. The result is that forecasts must be more general in nature and creating accurate forecasts for specific areas is extremely difficult. The other problem that plagues forecasters is that the computer models use historical data that was collected at the weather forecasting stations. While this data covers decades and in some cases more than 100 years, it is woefully lacking in coverage. In other words the distance between reporting stations is to great for the historical records to help the computer models predict more localized precipitation amounts accurately. What is the solution? Enlist the aid of volunteers and increase the number of reporting stations by as many are willing to participate.

Enter CoCoRaHS – Community Collaborative Rain Hail & Snow Network.  This organization was born out of the Colorado State University after a flood devastated Fort Collins in 1997. It was determined that the then current network of precipitation reporting stations was not adequate to met the needs of the forecasters. In short the variation of precipitation from one location to another was greater than could be determined with the reporting systems in place. As a result the weather models used to predict precipitation were not able to anticipate the tremendous amount of rain that fell on Fort Collins and the surrounding area. The answer was to enlist volunteers across the country to record rain hail and snow and report that information daily to the data collection center at the CoCoRaHS website. Currently 42 states are online and collecting information to be feed to weather forcasters, researchers and a host of other agencies. Check out CoCoRaHS About Us to read more.

Currently 42 states are participating so there is a good chance that your state is included. It is a growing program and four of the remaining states will be added this year. Your participation could help make the weather forecasting more accurate in your area. Give them a look and consider participating. You will need to purchase a rain gauge at about $25.00 but that is the sum of the cost to participate in this valuable weather data collection program.

Let’s get lots of homeschoolers involved. Share this!

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