Iowa officials are recruiting people to help monitor the state's weather as part of a volunteer network.
The state Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says data on rain, hail and snow that's collected by volunteers will be used for flood forecasting, scientific research and general weather
The department's state climatology office works with the National Weather Service in Des Moines to make sure the data are immediately available for free online.
Volunteers just need 4-inch-diameter rain gauges and suitable locations for the gauges.
The Colorado Climate Center established the volunteer network in 1998, and it's available in all 50 states and Canada. Iowa joined in 2007 and has more than 300 registered volunteers.
For more on the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, click here.