Cooperative observers commit their time to provide the nation with a record of daily weather events.
The information is retained, for all-time, at the National Climatic Data Center.
Observation records are historically maintained, along with those earlier records
provided by founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin - a few well known former cooperative observers!
The type of data collected varies by site. Some observers telephone the data, toll free, into their local weather office daily.
This data is included in computer models, which allows us to predict droughts and floods.
More common, are volunteer observers that manually record precipitation, and maximum and minimum temperatures, each day.
This, utimately, allows our forecasters to issue earlier flood warnings, thus minimizing the loss of life and property.
The data also provides research information for scientific study, allowing industry and agriculture to operate more efficiently.
Climatic data is also crutial in determining the affects of global warming and el nino.
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