Rain Fall Measurement

Rain fall measurement or precipitation as it is also known is the way in which we calculate how much rain has fallen. There is various ways in which we can do this depending on many factors. But first we need to ask why do we need to measure how much rain has fallen?

We have been measuring how much rain falls for centuries, but now it becomes an important study to observe how the climate is changing, and because the earth is warming up, our reservoir are drying up, and thus our water shortages. Local weather stations can also keep a record of the data, to see how it effects our river and streams.

Another important field where precipitation is measured is for agricultural needs. Any growing plant needs water to survive, so rainfall is crucial to its survival, but in another respect, to much rainfall can damage crops and other farming products.

There is many ways in which we can measure how much rain we get and I will describe a few here. The most typical and most used is the rain gauge. This is basically a container that holds the water, so that you cam measure it. There is many different kinds of gauges, so I will take a look at these now.

Standard Rain Gauge

This gauge is the most commonly used which catches the rain and once the inside graduated cylinder fills up, the outer larger container catches the excess.

Weighing Precipitation Gauge
With this type of device, the rain is weighed to record the mass which is done by having a pen on a rotating drum, or a vibrating wire. these types of gauges tend to be more expensive but more exact in collecting there data.

Tipping Bucket rain Gauge
This rain gauge collects the water by way of a funnel, that channels the water in a see saw motion in to a container. Once a certain amount of rain has fallen in to the container, it is tipped in to the main drum, so then a signal records once it has tipped.

These are your typical types of rain gauges that record the precipitation but with the advances in technology, you can measure rainfall with more sophisticated items. for example you can now use software that is connected to your computer, and get actual live data of the rain fall in your area, or even in your own back garden. This weather station software is very accurate, and more and more people are using them, from the complete novice, to the amateur meteorologist, to the local weather station.

Your local weather station will use some kind of computer related software to measure the data of rainfall, but typically they will also take reading for wind speed, wind direction, humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure.

It is important to just take a moment and think about how much water we use in our daily life, and think about the environment, and because of these global changes, we need to try and save a little water when we go about our daily life. For example showering saves a lot of water compared to having a bath, and using a water can in your garden as opposed to a hosepipe, will save a lot more water.