One week ago, we were in the middle of a huge rain storm that brought several inches of rain to a large part of the area.
The runoff from the storm has caused high water levels on streams and rivers - especially in northern counties of
North Dakota and in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
But the National Weather Service in Bismarck has very few official rain gauges in the area to record exactly what happened.
(Tony Merriman, National Weather Service Forecaster) "Minot, Williston, Dickinson, Bismarck and Jamestown and Hettinger - those are our automated sites and there's a lot of gaps in between those locations as we all know. And so the better coverage of data we can get from folks that are willing to volunteer the better forecasts we can make for river forecasts, the better we can adjust our rainfall amounts spacially so that we can make better decisions."
Lead Forecaster Tony Merriman says you can become a rainfall reporter for the National Weather Service by making a 30-dollar rain gauge purchase, and investing a few minutes each day to report rainfall amounts.
(Tony Merriman, National Weather Service Forecaster) "You just report your rainfall every day. Their are apps available if you want to record it on your IIPhoneor Android smart phone you just go and download the app and just go outside, check your rain gauge, report your amount as you're walking back and you're good to go for the day and it's in the database."
If you'd like to become a rainfall reporter, go to CoCoRahs.org and you'll become part of the international volunteer group that monitors precipitation amounts.