National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

An Active Start to the Week

A slow moving and large-scale system will produce widespread rain and thunderstorms the next few days across the central and southern Plains into the Mid to Lower Mississippi Valley. Severe storms will be common across Texas through Tuesday before spreading eastward. The locally heavy rain will produce possible flooding and have a similar transition to the east through midweek. Read More >

Cooperative Observer Equipment


The following is a list of equipment used by Cooperative Observers. The equipment is provided by the National Weather Service when you become a Cooperative Observer.


Max/Min temperature sensor (MMTS): This unit measures the temperature outside and keeps track of the daily maximum and minimum temperature for each day.

Image of MMTS Sensor


Cotton Region Shelter: This shelter houses the maximum and minimum thermometers. This shelter is gradually being phased out in favor of the MMTS. The shelter will remain the source for high and low temperatures for stations that currently use them to keep some continuity to their records.

Image of Cotton Region Shelter


8-inch rain gauge: This piece of equipment consists of one 8 inch in diameter metal cylinder, along with a smaller width plastic cylinder that is placed inside. A funnel is then placed on top of the metal cylinder and any precipitation that falls is then funneled into the smaller cylinder and can then be measured from there for the daily or 24 hour total. This inner plastic tubing cannot be used during the winter.

Image of 8-inch rain gauge


Punch Tape Gauge: This is another and much larger precipitation recorder. It is an incased piece of equipment that had a large opening on top to collect the precipitation. The precipitation falls into a bucket which sits on a scale. A punch tape then records, through a series of punches, the amount of the precipitation that has fallen over a period of time. This tape gets changed every month and sent in to the weather service. This is a year-round recording device.

Image of Fisher-Porter Gauge