Top List On How To Measure And Use A Rain Gauge

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Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Urska

Life without water would be like a day without night. Everyone needs water, and I can’t imagine a world without a good source of water. There are many sources of water these days, but the freshest of them is rain. People are dependent on rain for many reasons which include plant growth. A farmer lays his seeds down with the hope of getting rain and sunlight to help them grow. We sometimes pray for a downpour and most times for none. This is because we have our various use for rainwater.

Do you know that rainfall can be measured? What is the size of a rain gauge? If you’re one of those who need rainfall to go about your business and farming activities, you can measure the rain. Measurement helps you take the necessary precautions to determine your next move. To know the rain level for a particular period, you need a rainfall meter or a precipitation gauge.

There are different types of rain gauges that help you know the size of the rain. Meteorologists use rain gauges to measure rain. Getting excited about rain measurement can push you into buying a rain gauge before knowing without proper knowledge. Before purchasing a rain gauge, there are things to consider. People like gardeners or even aspiring people should go for the manual rain gauge. While farmers, agriculturists, and professional meteorologists should go for the automatic or direct rain gauge for appropriate reading.

How To Measure Rain With A Rain Gauge?

There are different types of rain gauge but the two major types are:

  • Recording rain gauges
  • Non-recording rain gauges

The non-recording rain gauges help collect the rain without recording the particular amount collect. While the recording rain gauges require calibration for accurate recording. Some of the recording rain gauges include measuring cylinder rain gauge, floating rain gauge, optical rain gauge, and tipping bucket rain gauge. Let’s go straight to explaining the measurement of rainfall.

How To Measure Rain With A Rain Gauge
  1. Measuring With A Non-Recording Rain Gauge

These types of rain gauges collect rain without accurate measurement. A Symons Rain Gauge is a perfect example of a non-recording rain gauge. It has a funnel, and metal bottle receiver that comes in a cylinder shape. The funnel fits the metal receiver neck, and there are packs attached to it. For efficient measurement, use a calibrated measuring jar.

This type of rain gauge can only measure rainfall for a given period. The funnel is the collector of the rain. You can raise it according to preference to avoid too many splashes. Acting as the measuring instrument is the graduated and not the gauge.

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  1. Optical Rain Gauge

For a digital rain gauge, this is quite efficient. It uses optical detectors and lasers. Through the laser-optical detector gap where rain falls, you would notice the lightning level reduce. With an optical rain gauge, rainfall is measured by the difference in light.

  1. Measuring Cylinder Rain Gauge

It comprises a funnel and a large graduated measuring cylinder. The best part is that measuring cylinder rain gauge is the simplest so far. Place the funnel above the measuring cylinder to collect rain. You can measure rain directly as the water fills the jar. You can collect data without emptying water from the cylinder. Please do not compare this to a non-measuring cylinder because they serve a different purpose.

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  1. Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

A funnel has the job of collecting rainfall that will be directed to a cylinder and a bucket. The bucket will tip when water gets to a certain level, then you can bring in the next bucket. Since it is a digital rainfall meter or gauge, it works with a computer system. During rainfall, the computer gets signaled. The computer determines the amount of water obtained by the number of tips.

  1. Floating Rain Gauge

This rain gauge comes with a funnel that connects to the floating compartment. You would notice the float rise as water fills up the funnel. When the float rises, rainfall is traced and recorded to a rotating drum. A level system is present and it works with the pen. This is an easy measuring gauge to use.

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There are defined rules, and principles to be followed before using a rain gauge. Indefinite or inaccurate results might pop up when if the rules are not followed.

  • Conventional Rain Gauge

Using a conventional rain gauge is quite easy. It collects rain in stores in a reservoir. The quantity of raindrops determines the rising level of the float, and a diagram interprets the intensity of water. When the tank gets full, a Siphon collects water. The water flows through to a container. A straight line follows immediately when the rain gauge is empty.

  • Other Models

This collects water with a meter and stores them in a tube. These models come with covers meant to stop the water from evaporating. Graduation uses precipitation gauges.

The only way you can know how to use a rain gauge is if you know how to interpret the result. When measuring rain gauge, be sure to follow the laid out rules. Some rain gauge requires strict follow up of the rules, which other don’t. If you experience any mistake, check the process or the gauge design. Be sure your environment is safe and in good condition for a rain gauge. Get an installer if you find it difficult installing the rain gauge yourself, this is to avoid incorrect data.


What's the easiest rain gauge to use?

I would recommend using a rain gauge that has a built in hygrometer. There are several models that work well for this purpose. I have used the ones that are battery powered. You could also use a small battery powered hygrometer if you want to be able to read it at night and in the dark. The one I am currently using is very small and portable.

What are the main types of rain gauges?

There are several types of rain gauges, each with its own pros and cons. Rain gauges are available in many forms, from the basic plastic bucket to the fancy electronic type that includes a display. To measure the total amount of rain, you need a rain gauge. Rain gauges come in three basic forms:

• Bucket type – The most common form of rain gauge. It consists of a tub or bucket into which the rain flows and collects. This type is used for short-term measurements, usually less than 24 hours. • Plate type – This type is also used for short-term measurements but measures the total amount of rain over several days.

• Electronic type – These are very expensive and can cost more than $100. They measure rainfall in inches and have a display.

• Umbrella – This is not a true rain gauge because it doesn’t collect any rain. Instead, it measures the amount of water that is blown off of an umbrella by the wind. • Rain gauge – This is a simple device that is made from a piece of plastic or metal and holds a cup or vial. The rain gauge is connected to a funnel that funnels the rain into the measuring container. The measuring container has a scale on it and indicates how much rain falls. The rain gauge is used for long-term measurements. If you would like to try a rain gauge for yourself, you can purchase one from Amazon.

Why is it important to put it in the right place?

The amount of rain recorded by a rain gauge depends on the size of the gauge, the depth to which it is inserted into the ground and the height above the ground at which it is placed. If the rain gauge is installed at the same height as the gutter, or just below the surface of the soil, it will collect most of the rain that falls in the area.

If the gauge is installed at the top of a raised building, or at a higher elevation than the roof, it may miss some of the rain that is falling. In general, the deeper the rain gauge is installed in the ground, the less likely it is to miss the amount of rain that falls in the area. To avoid missing rainfall amounts, you can install the rain gauge at least 12 inches (30 cm) below the surface of the soil.

How is a rain gauge calibrated?

The rain gauge is calibrated to the size of the hole, and has a standard capacity (in gallons). The actual amount of water in the bucket is determined by the size of the hole, the size of the bucket, and the number of drops hitting the bottom of the bucket.

The amount of rain recorded by a rain gauge depends on the size of the gauge, the depth to which it is inserted into the ground and the height above the ground at which it is placed. If the rain gauge is installed at the same height as the gutter, or just below the surface of the soil, it will collect most of the rain that falls in the area.

Conclusion On How To Measure And Use A Rain Gauge

Measuring rainfall can be thrilling if you know how to use it right. Rain gauges come in different forms and types, and they are all set to help you get the best result. People choose rain meters based on some factors such as speed, availability, efficiency, and effectiveness. They have a unique installation and usage process.

Do you find this interesting? Will this article be of use to you? If you have any reservations or thoughts about rain gauges, you can leave them in the comment section below. Please share this article if you enjoyed it.

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