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Help measure rain and snowfall in Minnesota

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Are you a self-proclaimed weather geek? A national citizen science project is looking for people like you to be weather observers.

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – a nonprofit community-based network of volunteers around the country who measure and map precipitation – is looking for volunteers to measure rainfall and snow totals in Minnesota.

Having a large network of volunteers tracking precipitation provides a more detailed picture of weather patterns that were unheard of years ago, according to the National Science Foundation, which along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are major sponsors of the network.

This data is used for several reasons, including predicting the weather, emergency planning and insurance estimates, the National Science Foundation says.

Minnesota joined the program in 2009, and although there are a network of data collectors around the state, there are still some gaps, MPR News reports, especially in rural and western Minnesota.

Because rain and snow fall can vary significantly throughout the state, having more volunteers measuring precipitation will offer a more complete record, MPR says.

Volunteers can track precipitation daily, during a specific season or whenever certain weather events occur, MPR notes.

To track rain and snowfall totals, sign up on the network's website here. Volunteers must participate in a brief training program, which can be done in-person or online, and buy an approved rain gauge which can be found online here for about $30, plus shipping. (Click here for more information on how to get involved.)

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