Volunteer Precipitation Monitoring
Recent widespread droughts and severe floods in the U.S. are reminders that fluctuations—especially extremes—in precipitation seriously impact the environment and society. For almost 125 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has monitored precipitation types and amounts, making it possible to prepare for variability and extremes. Using real-time and historic precipitation data, city planners and civil engineers can design better sewers, roofs, and other infrastructure; farmers can adapt growing practices; and water providers can ensure steady supplies for agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses. Understanding precipitation allows everyday citizens to go about their daily lives comfortably and safely.