Those with an interest in weather can volunteer to be a weather observer in the Garden State.

New Jersey State Climatologist Dave Robinson at Rutgers University explains what it takes to assist them: "You really just need the enthusiasm to be a weather observer, someone fascinated by the atmosphere and the precipitation it produces."

This part of something known as The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). It is a nationwide volunteer network for observing precipitation. This volunteer weather and climate effort has more than 15,000 active observers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CoCoRaHS is used by the National Weather Service, meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities, insurance adjusters, engineers and farmers, among others.

Volunteering requires the purchase of an inexpensive precipitation gauge. And they provide volunteers with the simple, necessary training online.

"We have participants from grade school up through the retired community. No great expertise, just a real interest in the environment around you."

Robinson says you can volunteer at their website.

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