It’s been a little over a month since the last newsletter and I have quite a bit to report on.
Back in business
I see from that we are back up to speed after the winter dropoff and have in fact picked up a few new observers since last year. We hit a high of 551 reports last May 12 when we had that big rain all over the state and we are now averaging about 475 most days. I just looked back in the database and see that on June 7, we hit 150,000 reports since the start of the project last year.
“Again, keep up the good work, this is phenomenal stuff.”
That was a quote I received in a message from a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration staff member recently. As you can see, all of this activity has definitely been getting notice by the National Weather Service. They have been monitoring our website and downloading our data for several months now and have found it extremely useful in helping them further understand Nebraska weather patterns. There have been several storms where, based on our reports, the NWS has wanted to get additional information directly from NeRAIN observers. Since we treat your contact information as confidential, this has usually resulted in a time delay in order to get permission to pass your phone numbers and email addresses on to them so they can contact you. Consequently, they have requested to get advance approval so they can contact you in a more timely manner in the event of an unusual storm event where contacting you in person would provide them with additional needed information.
I am in the process of setting up a system so you will be able to release your contact information to them if you so choose. They will only have access to it by logging on with their own username and password so it will still be protected from the public. That system should be ready in just a few days but I’ll send out another notice to warn you it is coming before it is released.
The way it will work for you is that once it is ready, the next time you log on, you will be directed to a page that will ask you to either give a “Yes” or a “No” on whether we can allow specific NWS staff members to have your contact information. This will be a one-time request and you will see the specific information they will have access to.
The way it will work with them is they will have to log on and will then be presented with a list of those who have given their permission to contact. Clicking on any StationName will show them that contact info so they can call or write to those in the area of a particular storm for further information. Your private contact information will not be released to the public. As I mentioned, I’ll write again before it is released but expect it to happen soon.
More help for the National Weather Service
NeRAIN observers have also been invited to assist NWS in an additional way if you choose. They are developing the “eSpotter Online Weather Reporting System” to enhance and increase timely & accurate online spotter reporting and communications between spotters and their local weather forecast offices. Persons registering must attended a storm spotter talk in order to participate. Anyone interested can go to for additional information.
A couple of minor tweaks on the website
I’ve added a just a couple of new little features to use the site a bit easier. If you go to and move your mouse around on the colored boxed, I’ve added a second line that now tells what day you are on. I found that knowing the day of the week helped me relate to an event better than just knowing the day of the month.
Also, if you are reviewing a Station Activity Summary like this one for Adams County at , you can click on the graph and go to that day’s rainfall map. Both features just make it a little easier to move around on the site.
Most of you have noted some problems getting on to the site to enter your data recently. I don’t pretend to try to understand the hardware it takes to run a network and website but I was told our IT people have replaced a “switch” (whatever that is in this context). They said it should take care of the access problems we have been having recently. Things seem to have improved since that “fix” so let’s hope so.
Thanks again for volunteering for NeRAIN.
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94676
Lincoln, NE 68509-4676