HORRY COUNTY, SC, (WMBF) - At 3 o clock every morning, Mike Jeffreys wakes up, and walks to his rain gauge. That's because he's a weather observer with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHs.
"I've always been and I guess the older I get, the more interested I get."
His love of weather, and his observations have helped forecasters and decision makers when it comes to flooding and severe weather.
"What you report and action being taken on it and you're realizing you're helping people based on that, it is really rewarding," Jeffrey's says.
And it doesn't take long to help.
"From walking out here and checking my gauge and reporting it, under 10 minutes," he adds.
The official CoCoRaHs rain gauge initially holds an inch, but can fill up more in the overflow container, something Jeffreys says has only happened once, in 2015.
"It was the only day, the only time when this thing almost got full in a day, and that would be about 12 inches of rain"
Jeffreys says they have about 50 to 60 volunteers of all ages scattered all across Horry County
"You may have a 4th grade class, 5th grade where the teacher will get a CoCoRaHs rain gauge and teach weather to her class and have them read the rain gauge everyday during the school year."
And they need more help to get more rain reports, especially in the rural areas.
If you and your family want to get involved, only thing you'll need is the CoCoRaHs rain gauge which runs for $30.
SC State Climatology Office: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/Office/cocorahs.php