Measuring Rainfall Tips

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How can I find a rain gauge to buy?

Empty or Not to Empty?

Rain gauges come in self-emptying versions where the accumulated rainfall is automatically dumped at a predetermined time. The rain gauge then begins the process of collection and measurement of precipitation all over again.

   
What is rain?

How is Precipitation Measured?

Rain gauges measure precipitation in inches or millimeters. Rainfall is usually described as either light, moderate or heavy.

   
How can I find a rain gauge to buy?

Rain Gauge Placement

Rain gauges should be placed on the ground and just high enough up to avoid any splashes or drops of water which may come from trees, electric lines, eaves or buildings.

   
What is rain?

Catching the Rain

Rain gauges collect and measure the rain. Rain is caught in a funnel on top of the rain gauge and runs down into a measuring cylinder below where the rainfall amount is recorded. The information is then sent back to a base unit where the amount of precipitation is digitally displayed.

   
How can I find a rain gauge to buy?

Types of Rainfall

Moderate rainfall measures 0.10 to 0.30 inches of rain per hour. Light rainfall is less than 0.10 inches, while heavy rainfall is more than 0.30 inches of rain per hour.

   
What is a collector bucket?

Who Invented the Rain Gauge?

The first rain gauge is believed to have been invented more than 2,000 years ago when rulers of the ancient Choson Dynasty (now Korea) directed all villages to measure rainfall. The information was then incorporated into a formula to determine the potential harvest of each farm.

   
What is rain?

Measuring the Rain

Measuring the amount of rain that falls is of serious interest to many segments of the population. For example, measuring rainfall with a rain gauge is critical information for gardeners, those in agriculture or involved with nurseries, farmers, meteorologists, weather hobbyists and just for general interest.

   
How can I find a rain gauge to buy?

Some Interesting Numbers

An inch of rain is just what it sounds like - one inch of water. Did you know that one inch of rainfall produces 4.7 gallons of water per square yard or 22,650 gallons of water per acre? Now that's a lot of rain!

   
What is a collector bucket?

Cable or Wireless?

Rain gauges come in both wireless and cabled versions. The Oregon Scientific RGR122 Cable Free Long Range Rain gauge, for example, has an effective range of 300 feet, transmitting the signal back from the collector to a base unit. Cabled rain gauges from Oregon Scientific and La Crosse are affordable and can be placed around 30 feet from a base unit.

   
What is a collector bucket?

Types of Rain Collectors

Standard rain buckets (or collectors) gather falling precipitation and have to be manually emptied. A self-emptying rain gauge dumps the accumulated rainfall at predetermined intervals. Some units even come with outdoor temperature sensors.

   
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Carma Spence-Pothitt