You are receiving this email as a member of the Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN). If our information is incorrect, please call me directly or forward this email to dnr.NeRAIN@nebraska.gov with a note of explanation.
Thank you for continuing to volunteer to provide precipitation information on a daily basis as part of this project. The results are powerful and are used by many agencies, researchers, companies, and individuals.
DON’T FREEZE WATER IN YOUR GRADUATED CYLINDER
I know that many of you have already had a few frozen mornings. As you are aware, the most common way to that the rain gages get broken is when a rain in the afternoon or evening is followed by a hard freeze before morning. Any water in the small-diameter inner cylinder may crack it. I store mine on a shelf just inside my front door, so that it is convenient to use, but not in danger of freezing.
The outer tube may safely be left outside, and can be useful for measuring snow.
As previous newsletters have stated, your safety is a priority. While we would like to have snow information from all sites, please do not put yourself at risk. If you are planning to measure snow this winter, you might want to review the detailed instructions found on our website:
ZEROES, MULTI-DAY ENTRIES, AND ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
NeRAIN information is used by many different users for many different purposes. Because of the nature of the statistics that many end-users employ, the most powerful information we can provide is daily data. Therefore for some purposes a daily reading of zero (when there is no rain) is just as important as recording a particularly large rainfall.
Many of our users like to upload data only when it rains. If you are one of the ones that does this, please fill in the zero days as well. There is a handy tool on the data entry page (third option down the list) that allows you to point and click at days (on a little calendar) with no rain. I often use this option when I login on Monday after a dry weekend.
If you cannot provide daily information during a period of time, then the Multiple Day Accumulation should be used as a last resort. This will allow us to record a total precipitation for a month or year, but is not as powerful statistically as a daily record.
During the past years we’ve seen fewer and fewer additional comments on the data entry form. Our partners at the national level have mentioned this, and they have pointed out that we just can’t get enough information about the weather. At the bottom of the data entry page there are many options for providing more information about start and stop times, strange weather noted, time of a major temperature drop, or whatever is of interest. You can be assured that sooner or later every such comment will be reviewed and probably will be utilized by somebody at some time.
We’ve seen a couple of software issues that can be very irritating for our users. First, we’ve had some login problems. Our website stores a ‘cookie’ on your computer when you log in. You cannot use the site to input data if your computer stops accepting cookies. Even though you can get to a login screen, and input your data, you are not logged in when you try to enter data. This has been a problem after an anti-virus software went through an automatic update, and tightened internet security.
Secondly, the latest Internet Explorer (version 8) has changed the way that the screen is mapped when the zoom level is changed. In practical terms, if you zoom in on the screen (using the button in the bottom right corner of Internet Explorer) some of our maps won’t work when you click on them. If you are having trouble, return your zoom level to 100% and the maps should work again.
If you are having trouble with these or other issues, please get in touch with us. We will continue to upgrade the website to accommodate newer web browsers and operating systems.
THANK YOU TO RICH KERN
Rich Kern was a leader in our department for many years. The success of our DNR role in the NeRAIN program in Nebraska is in large part a result of his hard work. After Rich retired in June, we had to replace him with four people working on the project. While the total hours spent on the project haven’t changed too much, we now have an engineer, a database expert, and two programmers to replace Rich’s skill set. Thank you, Rich, for giving this program such a solid foundation.
OUR CURRENT TEAM
The ‘e-mail’ button at the bottom of each page of the NeRAIN website sends an email to dnr.NeRAIN@nebraska.gov. Email sent to this address is received by several individuals here in the department. Most of the time either I or Gayle Follmer (our database expert) will respond to emails sent to this address. If we cannot solve an issue, we will then coordinate with others in the department.
Once again, we thank you for your interest and your daily participation in this project.
Thanks again for volunteering for NeRAIN.
James R. Williams, P.E.
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94676
Lincoln, NE 68509-4676
Direct: (402) 471-1026
Main: (402) 471-2363, Fax: (402) 471-2900