Best Rain Gauge Weather Station
Rain gauges are used to measure rainfall amount in order to determine the level of water supply and irrigation needs. They may also be used for other purposes such as measuring wind speed or temperature. A rain gauge is generally made up of two parts: a metal casing which encloses the sensor, and a cover which protects it from dust, dirt, sand etc..
The most common type of rain gauge is the “rain gage” which measures the amount of liquid that falls on a strip of cloth placed over the top. The sensor then records this amount in a small glass tube. Another form is called a “weather station”.
These devices are usually equipped with sensors to measure rainfall but they do not record any data until after it happens. Instead, they simply report what was measured at that time (usually within seconds).
There are many different types of rain gauges available. Some are simple, some have various functions and others are very sophisticated. There is no single best type for all situations; rather there is a variety of choices depending upon your requirements.
For example, if you need to know how much rain fell yesterday, you might want to use a device like the one shown here which measures the amount of liquid falling on a strip of cloth placed over the top.
This sensor then records this amount in a small glass tube. Alternatively, if you need to know the exact amount that fell during the last hour, you might need a different type of rain gauge which can be triggered to “empty itself” at fixed intervals. Most rain gauges will also measure wind speed and some can even tell you the temperature where the rain fell.
Rainfall measurements are usually expressed in depth (e.g. inches) although some rainfall gauges can also report rainfall totals in volume (e.g.
millimeters or centimeters).
Best Rain Gauge
There are many types of rain gauges, but the one you need will depend upon what you want to know and how much money you want to spend. The U.S.
government’s National Weather Service has recommendations for various types of gauges which can be found on their web site at the link shown here.
The most common rain gauges measure rainfall in depth. Inexpensive gauges are sold at most home and garden stores. These gauges have a small funnel that measures rainfall depth.
Less common, but more accurate are gauges that can be calibrated to measure rainfall in volume (i.e. how many cubic inches of water fell). These gauges can be calibrated and must be kept level or the accuracy of the measurement is affected. These gauges are more expensive and typically are only used for scientific measurements.
Here are some examples of common types of rain gauges:
Umbrella Style Rain Gauge
The traditional umbrella style rain gauge is a cone shaped device which is placed so that the wide end of the cone faces into the wind and measures rainfall depth. These gauges are inexpensive and can be calibrated if desired.
Sources & references used in this article:
A history of rain gauges by I Strangeways – Weather, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Field accuracy of Canadian rain measurements by KA Devine, E Mekis – Atmosphere-ocean, 2008 – Taylor & Francis
Impact of rain gauges distribution on the runoff simulation of a small mountain catchment in Southern Ecuador by A Sucozhañay, R Célleri – Water, 2018 – mdpi.com
Reducing errors in rainfall estimates through rain gauge location by K Hogan – Geographical Analysis, 1990 – Wiley Online Library
Geostatistical interpolation of hourly precipitation from rain gauges and radar for a large-scale extreme rainfall event by U Haberlandt – Journal of Hydrology, 2007 – Elsevier
Entropy theory based multi-criteria resampling of rain gauge networks for hydrological modelling–a case study of humid area in southern China by H Xu, CY Xu, NR Sælthun, Y Xu, B Zhou, H Chen – Journal of Hydrology, 2015 – Elsevier
Combining radar and rain gauges rainfall estimates using conditional merging: a case study by A Pettazzi, S Salsón – The Seventh European Conference on Radar in …, 2012 – meteo.fr
Accuracy of rainfall estimates by radar, part II: comparison with raingauge network by CG Collier – Journal of Hydrology, 1986 – Elsevier
Temporal sampling requirements for automatic rain gauges by JA Nystuen – Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 1998 – journals.ametsoc.org