MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The National Weather Service is trying to recruit more volunteers to track precipitation in Minnesota.

There are gaps within the statewide system of hundreds of data collectors. Rainfall can vary widely over any given area, and having more measurements offers a more complete record.

NWS meteorologist Michelle Margraf says volunteers can report every day, during certain seasons or when certain events happen.

They are looking for help with the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network. The network began in Colorado after a devastating flash flood in 1998. Minnesota joined the network in 2009.

Participants have to participate in a brief training program and buy a $35 rain gauge, made to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration standards.