If you live with a weather nut, you learn to take an interest in all things meteorological.

Of course, it's exciting when there are great thunderstorms in the forecast. Ditto for tornadoes, floods and major lightning events. (We haven't discussed snow in Charleston in years, and hurricanes are news, not just weather in our house.)

But for the everyday weather report, it's more about whether the rain will a) be a mist; b) require rainboots; c) flood the Crosstown or d) be a good day to stay inside.

Over the years, I've realized that this weather lore extends to all members of my dearest's family, and I've been known to carry on lengthy long-distance conversations about the likelihood of rain in Kentucky with my mother-in-law.

You'd think we were farmers in Riverland Terrace.

That's why this contest piqued my interest. I'm hoping I can redirect some of that astronomical energy by engaging hubbie dearest with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network's March Madness Contest.

That's where the network competes with other states to recruit the most number of new backyard weather observers to help measure and map precipitation in their local communities.

CoCoRaHS, as the acronym goes, is a grass-roots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds who feed daily rain counts to the National Weather Service.

Each morning, more than 10,000 volunteers across the nation head out to check their rain gauges and enter their information on an interactive website, www.CoCoRaHS. org.

You have to buy a $30 official rain gauge, take a short online course, have access to a computer for the data and be willing to input the numbers from 6 to 9 a.m. on the website.

You don't get paid for this, but you will be assisting in filling in a piece of the climate puzzle that affects all South Carolinians.

And if you sign up this month, you can help South Carolina win the “CoCoRaHS Cup” (sort of like the Stanley Cup, but with a little more hot air) that the state will keep until contest time next year.

It's pretty easy to join this community-based network at the website. The instructions are simple, and it seems like a good way to start the day for my favorite weather nut.

Oh, except that he will have to learn to set the alarm clock to get the data in every morning. Yet another good reason to get him involved.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at sharvin@postandcourier.com or 937-5557.