How to Become a Cooperative
NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) staff at local offices nationwide
recruit Cooperative Observers.
The NWS goal is a spacing of about one
station every 25 miles (one per 625 square miles). That
density is less in areas with differences in elevation, urban heat
islands, steep land-sea-lake interfaces, etc. Becoming an NWS Cooperative observer volunteer requires the following:
- Commitment to long-term recordkeeping: minimum of 10 years at one location (businesses, utilities, family farms are popular candidates)
- Ability to learn and perform daily duties
- Willingness to allow NWS to place measuring instruments on your
- Willingness to allow at least one visit per year from a NWS representative.
- Ownership of a personal computer with Internet access.
If you are selected to become an official NWS Cooperative station,
NWS will provide you with the training and suport needed. Depending on your station's instrumentation,
your site will be visited once or twice every 12 months or as needed.
Volunteer are not paid except in a few very unusual situations.
If you are interested in becoming an NWS Cooperative observer, contact
your local NWS representative.