An Indiana man observing weather in his yard makes local impact

Around the country, the National Weather Service has volunteers observing weather from their homes. The data is used to learn more about the climate.

Video Transcript

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EMMY VICTOR: Ron Burdine spent much of his time in the yard of his Peru, Indiana, home. As a weather observer for the National Weather Service, he checks on one of his two rain gauges every day.

RON BURDINE: If we have no rain I report zero. If we have bunches of rain I report what I find.

EMMY VICTOR: The other gauges automatic and tracks weather on its own.

RON BURDINE: Once a month I get a card from the National Weather Service that I plug into this thing and it reads the last 60 days of weather. Then I put it in an envelope and send it to the Weather Service.

EMMY VICTOR: His interest in observing weather started over 10 years ago when he was looking for activities to keep him busy during retirement.

RON BURDINE: The gauges that I have in my yard used to be at the sewage treatment plant for over 30 years. The guy that was taking care of that retired. They couldn't find anyone else interested in doing it. So they ran an ad in the paper. That's when I noticed it.

EMMY VICTOR: His observations from rain to snow over the years help the National Weather Service learn more about the climate in his rural community, 80 miles north of Indianapolis.

RON BURDINE: I know I got a paper from the National Weather Service. I think there was something like six to eight different companies or businesses that use that information that I had no idea they were using the information I was providing. I feel like I'm accomplishing some good things this way.

EMMY VICTOR: The data reaches a range of businesses, including construction companies, hospitals, and farms.

For AccuWeather, I'm Emmy Victor.