Ever wanted to grab a camera, hop in a Winnebago and go chase extreme weather around? It's tough, and requires a certain amount of capital to do so, but thanks to a network of cameras currently up for crowdfunding, we might not even need to leave your desk at work.
It's called the Australian Weathercam Network, and it's run by Ben Quinn. Back in 2006, Quinn set up a webcam on his roof in Redcliffe, and since then it has expanded out to a network of 60 cameras around the country.
For the last eight years, the network has been privately funded by Quinn, and the money is starting to slow down.
Quinn writes that without crowdfunding support, the Australian Weathercam Network may not be able to continue.
"In recent years it's been harder and harder to sustain that financial support and it's come to a point where I'm simply not in a position to continue the funding," he writes on Kickstarter.
"The network was recently scaled back slightly from over 60 cameras to the existing 53, which has helped, but of the remaining 53 cameras there are currently 11 out of operation in need of repair and a great many more that will need repairs or upgrades in the near future or they too will start dropping offline. I would also love to continue expanding the network, to take it to the next level, to take advantage of new locations offered to me on an almost daily basis but perhaps more importantly be in a position where I can pro-actively look for new locations that fill gaps in the current Nework, that provide a service to the local community or simply has a great view that I'd love to share with the rest of the world. The only way this can happen is to open the Network to support from public funding - in particular, contributions from the people who use the Network every day," he adds.
The $10,000 he wants to raise is an "arbitrary number", he explains because of the ongoing nature of the project. Right now he's up to $4902 raised with 10 days to go.
If he reaches his limit, the funding will be used to repair existing cameras, scout new locations and engage the community to get more equipment out in the field.
The Kickstarter plan is actually really detailed, and worth a look if you're into skywatching. [Kickstarter]