What Is A Rain Gauge?
A rain gauge is a device used to measure rainfall. They are usually made out of metal or plastic and have a small hole at one end which allows water droplets to fall through it. When the droplet hits the sensor, it registers its size and weight. These devices are commonly found in gardens, parks, houses, etc., where they provide accurate measurements of rainfall. Some gardeners even use them for measuring their own crops’ growth!
Rain gauges come in different types such as:
1) Bucket – These are usually made from heavy duty plastic and weigh several pounds.
They can be very expensive, but if you want to save money, then these buckets are perfect for your needs. You could also try using a cheap rain barrel instead of a bucket.
2) Rain Gauge – These devices typically consist of two parts; a lid and a sensor that measures the amount of water falling on it.
3) Rain Gauge Sensor – These devices are similar to bucket rain gauges except they measure the amount of moisture in the air rather than the amount of water falling on them.
4) Rain Gauge Chart – These devices are often used with a rain gauge, but they can also be used alone.
They record rainfall totals over time and display them on a chart.
How Does A Rain Gauge Work?
Rain gauges come in many different shapes and sizes and each one of them has its own unique method for measuring rainfall. However, most rain gauges work in a very similar manner.
When it starts to rain, you place the rain gauge somewhere that doesn’t collect water such as on the roof, a windowsill, etc. You may also want to place the gauge in a place where it will get sun for several hours each day.
When enough water has fallen into the rain gauge, you can then remove the device and pour the water into a container that is safe for drinking.
The container will have markings on the side so that you can determine how much rainfall there has been. You can do this by checking the markings before the rainfall begins and then again after it has finished. Subtracting the smaller number from the larger one gives you the total amount of rainfall in inches.
Rain Gauge Uses
1) Homeowners – If you are a homeowner, then you will want to get a rain gauge for your home so that you can keep track of the rainfall in your area.
You can find out how much rain has fallen in any given month and even on any particular day.
2) Gardeners – Gardeners love rain gauges because they can use them to check the amount of rainfall in their region.
They can then use this information to determine how much water their plants need in order to thrive.
3) Meteorologists – These professionals use rain gauges in order to provide accurate weather reports.
By keeping track of rainfall amounts throughout the year, they can better predict floods, droughts, etc.
4) Scientists – Rain gauges are used in all kinds of experiments related to weather and climate change.
5) Artists – Painters, artists, and other types of artists love using rain gauges in their work.
The gauges can be very aesthetically pleasing to look at when incorporated into paintings.
6) Archaeologists – Rain gauges have been found in ancient tombs and excavations.
While their original purposes are unknown, it is believed that the gauges were used for some type of ritual or ceremony.
Rainfall is one of nature’s greatest gifts to us all. While some people may take it for granted, those that truly appreciate its beauty and power will want to get a rain gauge so that they can keep track of rainfall amounts in their region.
While you can just buy a cheap rain gauge at your local home improvement store, many people like to get creative with their gauges and will make their own out of all kinds of different materials.
Others like to build their own gauges from scratch in order to truly personalize them. Whatever your reason for getting a rain gauge may be, they can definitely be a great addition to your home or garden.
Interesting Facts About Rain Gauges:
1) The world record for cumulative rainfall inside a rain gauge is 17 years!
2) It only takes one inch of rain falling into a rain gauge to overflow it.
3) The most rainfall captured in a single-day by a rain gauge was 27 inches!
4) The wettest place on earth, Mawsynram, India, averages an amazing 11 meters of rain per year!
5) The driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, Chile, averages less than a single inch of rain per year!
6) The first rain gauges were invented by the ancient Egyptians.
7) The first modern rain gauge was invented in 1840.
8) The world’s tallest rain gauge was created in 1995.
It stands at 158 feet and is located in New York City.
9) The world’s smallest rain gauge was created in 2008.
It measures just 0.2 inches and was made out of a hollowed out microscopic diamond!
10) The wettest day ever in recorded history occurred on July 24, 1872 in Queensland, Australia. rainfall reached 11.3 inches!
11) The driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, has been known to go entire decades without a single drop of rain.
12) Most rain gauges are green because vegetation tends to grow better where more moisture is present. Also, green is typically the easiest color to see so it makes it easier to read the gauge.
13) New Zealand has been known to have upwards of 50 different types of rain within a single year!
14) It is believed that a 5 inch rainfall alleviates drought conditions for every 1 inch of rainfall received.
15) It is believed that a 1 inch rainfall increases soil water content by 1%.
16) The average rainfall in the U.S. is 27 inches per year, which means that the average American only sees 3 days without rain per year on average!
17) It takes about 10 minutes for light rain to be absorbed into the ground. For heavy rain, this time is more like 2-3 hours.
18) In the U.S. rainfall is not evenly distributed across the country. For instance, in the state of Washington rainfall can range from less than 10 inches per year in the southwest to around 90 inches per year in the northwest.
19) There are 7 different types of rainfall: Drizzle, Sprinkles, Microburst, Rain, Shower, Thunderstorm and Hurricane. While all of these types can be found in the U.S., rainfall in the U.S.
is typically classified as either a Shower or a Thunderstorm.
20) All thunderstorms are rainfall but not all rainfall is a thunderstorm.
21) About 2/3 of the worlds population doesn’t have access to clean water. It’s believed that 1 person dies from lack of water every 15 seconds!
22) Australia has been known to experience extraterrestrial rain.
23) It’s believed that the average human needs to consume around 1 gallon of water per day to survive.
24) Without moisture in the air, jet engines could not produce enough thrust to propel a plane forward. Most planes operate most efficiently at around 50% relative humidity. When humidity is below 20%, planes must expend extra fuel to carry the extra weight of the required extra fuel.
25) The state of Arizona is the U.S.’s driest state, averaging around 4-5 inches of rainfall per year.
26) After Texas, the second driest state in the U.S. is California, which averages around 12-15 inches of rainfall per year.
27) The wettest state in the U.S. is Washington which averages around 80-85 inches of rainfall per year.
28) The world’s tallest active geyser is found in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, it is called Steamboat geyser and can shoot water over 300 feet into the air!
29) The driest place on earth is the village of Artica in Libya. It has never had any measurable precipitation throughout its recorded history. Not even snow.
30) The wettest place on earth is the small village of Cherrapunji in India. It has been known to experience an average of 11.8 meters of rainfall per year!
With these facts under your belt, you’re now ready to take on that next big trivia night at your local bar. Go get ’em champ!
Interested in reading about more Science related facts?
Check out: 30 Fascinating Science Facts.
Or if you’re feeling a bit daring, you can read about some Facts That Will Make You Sound Totally Awesom.
Sources & references used in this article:
Rain gauge by CE Myers – US Patent 3,039,304, 1962 – Google Patents
CoCoRaHS: The evolution and accomplishments of a volunteer rain gauge network by HW Reges, N Doesken, J Turner… – Bulletin of the …, 2016 – journals.ametsoc.org
How effective are tipping‐bucket raingauges? A review by E Hanna – Weather, 1995 – academia.edu
An innovative acoustic rain gauge based on convolutional neural networks by R Avanzato, F Beritelli – Information, 2020 – mdpi.com
Inadvertent rain gauge inconsistencies and their effect on hydrologic analysis by DC Curtis, RJC Burnash – California-Nevada ALERT Users Group …, 1996 – davisnet.com.au
Rain gauge by MS Glenn – US Patent 9,010,182, 2015 – Google Patents
Rain gauge by RC Geschwender – US Patent 7,543,493, 2009 – Google Patents
Some measurements of attenuation by rainfall at 18.5 GHz by RA Semplak, RH Turrin – Bell System Technical Journal, 1969 – Wiley Online Library
Full-season rain gauge having replaceable charts for making profile graphs by CF Marley – US Patent 4,106,336, 1978 – Google Patents