CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Last month I wrote a brief blog about official weather observing stations (ASOS stations) and how they are located at airports. I told you how our official Charlotte weather observations are based on the weather that happens at the Charlotte airport, because that is where the Charlotte ASOS is located.
Well, as we know, the weather at the airport is not always representative of the weather over other parts of the city, and at times, this becomes more obvious than others.
Take the past two nights for example. If you live in south Charlotte, South Park, or southern Mecklenberg, you know how hard it was raining, especially on Monday night. Tuesday night there were also some storms and heavy rain on the south side of the city.
However, because of the path these storms took and where they developed, they both entirely missed the airport! So, our official rain observation for Monday in Charlotte went down as 0.00" and a Trace on Tuesday (a trace is used when there are raindrops reported, but it doesn't equal up to at least .01")
This is why we are always in need of weather spotters and secondary weather observing sites to help get a more accurate representation of the weather over a larger area, since the official airport stations are more spread out. I also wrote a blog last month about CoCoRaHS, which is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Check out that blog post here for more information on how you can become an official spotter!
The attached CoCoRaHS map from Monday night's rain illustrates my point. You can see the reports from North Mecklenberg only totaling up to a few hundredths of an inch, while reports further south are as high as 1"-1.5".