Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Read Rain Gauges

A rain gauge is used to measure how much precipitation has fallen. Farmers and gardeners whose crops depend on a certain amount of water to thrive use a rain gauge to calculate how much water to add to the soil with their hoses or irrigation systems. Meteorologists keep track of how much rain has fallen as part of the record of weather statistics for a region. This information helps to predict floods and to determine the severity of a drought. Children often start learning about weather instruments with a rain gauge because it is so easy to use.

Instructions :
  1. Insert a rain gauge into the ground or install it on a pole. It is like a measuring cup that fills with precipitation whenever it rains, sleets, or snows.

  2. Notice that the sides of the rain gauge are marked like a kitchen measuring cup with little horizontal lines. Usually the gauge holds five inches of liquid. Each inch is marked. Between the inches, other horizontal lines mark half inches and smaller fractions of an inch.

  3. Read the rain gauge right after it stops raining before the sun has time to cause any of the liquid to evaporate. Compare the point where the liquid in the rain gauge meets the scale on the side of the container. The number of the mark where the top of the liquid touches the scale tells you how much precipitation fell.

  4. Write down the measurement along with the date, time, and type of precipitation. Keep a log of the measurements taken by your rain gauge. See if your measurements match those of the weather professionals. See if you notice are any patterns or record rainfall amounts.

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