Keeping a rain log in the Phoenix area is like striking out the pitcher—it is almost too easy. That was one reason I decided to participate in the community-based rainfall-monitoring network developed at the University of Arizona by Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA) and the Arizona Cooperative Extension. With our average yearly rainfall of about seven inches, monitoring won't be a labor intensive proposition!
By volunteering, I will be reporting daily rainfall totals on my property, which will fill in a gap on the map maintained on the Rainlog.org website. Very localized thunderstorms during monsoon season can lead to heavy rain in one area, and just down the road, there will be no rain at all. By having participants all over the Valley recording daily rainfall totals at their locations, water managers, drought planners, weather reporters and scientists can get a more accurate picture of rain patterns.
It was a snap for my husband to mount the recommended Tru-Chek rain gauge, and now I can start my online reporting duties. It will be fun to check the website when we finally get some rain. For the first time I'll be able to see the variations without having to depend on the TV weatherman.
Community-based rainfall monitoring is going on across the Southwest, sponsored by various organizations in the different states. Rainlog is the place where all this happens.