How does a homemade rain gauge work?

Can anything be used as a rain gauge?

What the rainfall measure is telling us is the height of rain water collected in a vessel that has vertical walls and has uniform cross section from bottom to the top. Therefore, in principle any vessel that has a uniform cross section can be used as a rain gauge.

What household items can you use to make a rain gauge?


  • Empty two-liter plastic bottle.
  • Scissors.
  • A few handfuls of clean pebbles, gravel, or marbles.
  • Masking tape.
  • Water.
  • Ruler.
  • Permanent marker.
  • Rainy weather.

Does the diameter of a rain gauge matter?

The larger the opening, the lower the statistical error in measurements in real-world applications. Always choose the largest size that your budget allows. Rain gauge resolution determines the smallest amount of precipitation that one is able to measure and the accuracy of short-term rain intensity measurements.

How do you calibrate a rain gauge?

Make a pinhole in the bottom of a plastic cup. Hold the cup over the rain gauge and fill it with exactly 1 cup (8 oz.) of water, allowing the water to slowly drip into the rain gauge. You should hear the internal buckets tip and see the water drain through the rain gauge.

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How wide should a rain gauge be?

A wider diameter usually leads to more accurate readings. A 4-inch rain gauge is appropriate for most uses, while 8 inches is what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employs for its data. To avoid evaporation before the water level can be measured, UV protection is another factor to consider.

Why are rain gauges tapered?

Usually a tapering funnel of copper or polyester of standard dimension allows the rain-water to collect in an enclosed bottle or cylinder for subsequent measurement. …

Is a 5 gallon bucket an accurate rain gauge?

Most rain gauges for automatic weather stations are of the swinging bucket type, which must be installed in an accurately horizontal plane for correct operation.” The most accurate rain gage we have is a 5 gallon bucket in the middle of the driveway turn around.

What is the formula of rainwater?

Simple Rainwater Harvesting Formula – For every 1” of rain and 1,000 square feet of impermeable surface (roof, driveway, etc), about 620 gallons are generated. Meaning, you can capture about . 62 gallons per sq ft. To figure out the square footage of a surface, multiply the width x length.

How many mm of rain is heavy per day?

Moderate rain: Greater than 0.5 mm per hour, but less than 4.0 mm per hour. Heavy rain: Greater than 4 mm per hour, but less than 8 mm per hour. Very heavy rain: Greater than 8 mm per hour.