Backyard meteorologists on the rise

In what seems like a no-brainer, technology still can't outdo people when it comes to gauging the weather.

According to a report released Tuesday, satellites have yet to replace people and their rain gauges--devices installed in backyards across the United States--for collecting weather data. And now those 2,500 volunteers in 14 states--who measure the amount of rain in their backyard daily and then add the data to an online database--will mushroom to 20,000 people nationwide in the next three years, according to scientists.

The 10-year-old volunteer program, called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), said that satellites can't compare to the human observer, and that by adding to its ranks, it will be able to create a more accurate picture of rain patterns across the States. "It gives us a finer mesh of what is happening. It brings the data down to a micro level," said CoCoRaHS's national coordinator Henry Reges, according to the report.