Monday, June 21, 2010

Parts of a Rain Gauge

Weather is a part of our daily lives. People are always trying to predict the weather, to measure it and to see patterns in it. Often of great concern is rain, and even more so, how much rain. To get a measurement of how much rain falls in any given event, a rain gauge is used.

Simple Gauges

A simple rain gauge is nothing more than a tube with one open end pointed up toward the sky. Along the side of the tube are estimated measurement marks for just how much rain should have fallen.


The bottom end of a rain gauge cylinder is often supported on a pole driven into the ground.

Professional Gauges

Professional rain gauges attempt to be more accurate than a simple collection cylinder. The cylinder in a professional rain gauge is supported on an arm that will swivel a certain degree, and there are fins along the bottom of the cylinder.


The fins on the side of the cylinder are to catch the wind. The support arm then allows the rain gauge to turn to face the wind, collecting a more accurate count in case the rain isn't falling straight down.


No matter how complicated a rain gauge is, the more parts it possesses, the more expensive it will be. This is why only meteorologists who are truly concerned with exact rain fall details use the more complicated rain gauges.