Hundreds of volunteers across Colorado report each day how much rain, hail or snow fell in their backyard. But the state's climatologist says he could use thousands of more.
A devastating flash flood hit Fort Collins in July 1997. More than a foot of rain fell in several hours, catching many by surprise and causing $200 million in damage. That storm led to the creation of a network of volunteers to improve the mapping and reporting of intense storms.
"Ideally, this is scary, but ideally we'd like to have at least one person every square mile to really capture the variability of precipitation we see in our state," said Nolan Doesken, state climatologist. "But realistically, anyone with a heart for weather and an interest in seeing how precipitation varies from place to place we'd love to have you in our program."
Volunteers enter their data each day online. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network founded in Colorado in 1998 became a national network last year.
[Photo: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network]