The National Weather Service Needs You!

Are you a weather fanatic? Do you routinely watch the Weather Channel, listen to NOAA “All-Hazards” Weather Radio several times a day, and have hundreds of weather internet sites bookmarked on your computer? If so, the National Weather Service in Blacksburg could use your passion for weather.

There are number of ways to be a citizen scientist, and provide valuable weather data to our office.  Here are some programs anyone can join to help us achieve our mission of safeguarding against the loss of lives and property:

  1. CoCoRaHS. CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.  CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).   By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.  For more information, visit:

  2. Citizen Weather Observing Program.  If you own a web-enabled weather station, we can use your data! The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a public-private partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality. For more information, visit:

  3. SKYWARN. The Skywarn™ spotter program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) to report significant weather. Anyone is welcome to participate. If you are interested in registering as a SKYWARN spotter for the National Weather Service, simply attend one our classes conducted throughout southeast West Virginia, southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina in the spring. More information can be found here:

Weather data is the cornerstone of the NWS climate, forecast, and warning programs. Without a firm foundation of accurate, timely, and reliable weather readings, forecasts and conclusions about climate can be skewed and faulty products can result.  Input from the public is welcomed!