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All Cooperative Observers keep daily precipitation records.The same instrument, the Standard or 8" Rain Gage, has been used for most of the recorded history.
(Such information was very important during the summer of 1999 to determine the severity of drought conditions and issuance of crop insurance.) Maps showing seasonal departures and related normals are available at the Southern Region Climate Center.There are also 16 sites in Middle Tennessee that have an automated precipitation gage that records hourly rainfall. Most observers also keep temperatures readings: the 24 hour high and low readings and the temperature at observation.Most sites are equipped with an electronic Maximum/Minimum Temperature System that has replaced thermometers.This instrument is accurate to 0.3Four special stations in Middle Tennessee are very involved in collecting weather information. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop updates.This interest in weather followed settlers into the Tennessee and Cumberland Valleys.Continuous official weather records in Nashville date back to the 1870's.
Several other sites in Middle Tennessee can trace their records prior to 1900: Carthage, Clarksville, Cookeville, Dickson, Dover/Ft.
Donelson, Franklin, Lewisburg, Mc Minnville, Murfreesboro, Tullahoma, and Waynesboro.
"From its inception, the National Weather Service has relied heavily on cooperative weather observers for establishment and maintenance of the nation's climatic database.
It follows that appointing, training, and keeping good observers is a very high priority."The Cooperative Observer Program is older than the United States, dating to the pre-Revolutionary War colonies.
Farmers like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and scientists like Ben Franklin were always interested in the weather.
Many kept detailed daily records and these records are part of the continuing study of our weather.