I haven't sent out an NeRAIN newsletter for quite some time so this is probably the first one many of you have received. They are just periodically sent out as new features are added to the website or situations arise that you should be made aware of. With winter approaching now, these first items are VERY IMPORTANT.
DON'T FREEZE THE TUBE
Snow has already arrived in various degrees over most of the state already and we have also had freezing weather. The FIRST thing to do if you haven't done so already is to bring the inner tube and funnel of your rain gauge inside NOW. If water collects in them and freezes, they will crack and be worthless. The outer tube can handle the winter weather and can be used to help measure snowfall so that is OK to leave out over the winter if you are going to help measure snow. If you are not planning on measuring snow, then it is best to bring that inside also.
I'll admit that the first year we had NeRAIN running, I wasn't too keen on measuring snow. The thought of crawling around in the snow banks at 7:00 AM when it was still very cold and dark out just didn't seem like the most pleasant thing to do. But I went ahead and did it anyway and found out it really wasn't bad after all. Although the white stuff has a tendency to stick around long after the event, we really don't have that many snow days in Nebraska so taking care of that on the few days it does snow and then tracking how much hangs around isn't such a big hassle. I encourage you to at least give it a try and I think you will see what I mean. However, if you don't feel surefooted walking in the snow, don't take a chance on falling. We'll miss your data but it is not worth risking injury.
HOW TO MEASURE SNOW
If you have forgotten or never knew, there are some instructions on how to measure snow on the NeRAIN website at http://nerain.dnr.ne.gov/NeRAIN/docs/snow.asp. Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) in Fort Collins, Colorado helped NeRAIN get stared a couple of years ago. The person responsible for the CoCoRaHS project, Nolan Doesken, is the national expert on snow measurement and there is more information on measuring snow on their website. You can find the link to their site at the bottom of our website or go directly by using this link: http://www.cocorahs.org/. If you still have questions after looking over this information, be sure to ask.
A common request I start getting around this time of year is where to buy the gauges we use for NeRAIN. People like to buy them as gifts for Christmas or other special occasions. As I was looking over the CoCoRaHS site for the snow link, I noticed a link to a website called WeatherYourWay.com. We have been fortunate in Nebraska in that our volunteers have not had to purchase their gauges as they do in all other states in the CoCoRaHS network. Since their volunteers do have to buy their own gauges, CoCoRaHS has selected WeatherYourWay.com as their official suppler so their volunteers can purchase them at a very favorable price.
They have agreed to offer NeRAIN volunteers the same price of $22 plus shipping. I've seen the same gauge at other suppliers for nearly $40 plus shipping when purchased individually so this is quite a bargain if you would like to buy one as a gift for someone. Then once they have the gauge, you might suggest that they may as well join the NeRAIN network as well ?
The location to purchase these gauges is http://WeatherYourWay.com and you MUST use this special information to get this price:
A COUPLE OF NEW FEATURES
These are not real new features since they have been on the site for a while but I have not mentioned them previously in a newsletter so I will now.
TEMPERATURE: I added this feature during the hot spell last summer but now that it is getting colder again, you may find this interesting as well. If you go to 'maps', you will see options for maximum and minimum temperatures. If you go to either of those maps and click on any of the large temperature dots, you will be able to see the station history for the past couple of years since I started compiling this information.
PRECIP RANGE: If you click on 'maps' and then use the default of 'Daily Precipitation', you will see the precip map you normally view. You have always been able to see the weekly and monthly precip but now you can also click on the 'User Defined' link just above the map and select a range of dates to view. Whatever date you are viewing at the time will be the first date and then you can select any other date, either before or after that one, for the second date.
Thanks again for volunteering for NeRAIN.
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94676
Lincoln, NE 68509-4676