Measuring the rain is very important for most industries. It is the reason you would get that many people would choose to have their own rain gauge so that they can keep up with the rainfall patterns. It is even believed that the rain gauge is among the oldest weather instruments to have ever been created. The importance of measuring rainfall has many applications in our world today. Farmers could use such information when it comes to learning as when would be the appropriate time to plant their seeds. The same information would be used by engineers who are looking to design storm-resistant building and bridges.
That is not all, you could still have your own rain gauge at home for various reasons. If you are thinking of ending up with a great rain gauge, then you will have to make one. The best part is that the materials needed are quite easy to source from a store close to you. This could be a great project that can be done with your kids too as a way of helping them learn more about the weather.
What you will need
- Clear cylindrical container
- Soda bottle – 2 liter
- Ruler or tape measure
- Waterproof sharpie
Step 1: Find a clear container
The first step would be finding the right collecting container for your rain gauge. Always make sure that it is a cylindrical container. The shape of the container is important in terms of calculation and measurements. Having a container with a wider top than the bottom will make it harder on the calculations and measurements. As for the material, you can opt for the glass or plastic, any could work. The desired height of the container should be at least 12 inches.
Step 2: Making your own container
Sometimes you might have trouble finding the perfect container for your rain gauge. It is time to improvise and get the best container from what you have been using before. This time, opt for a soda bottle. Use a 2-liter bottle so that you get more of the uniform cylindrical part. Using a pair of scissors, cut off the narrower top part to remain with a uniform cylinder below.
Step 3: Making the container heavier
Whenever it is raining, you will get that there is also wind and other debris that might knock off the rain gauge. You would need to make sure that the rain gauge can withstand such conditions. This calls for using the pebbles now as mentioned in the requirements for the build. Fill your container with the pebbles to about one inch from the bottom. Such a height of pebbles should be enough to give it a steady standing.
Now, proceed to fill the container with water to a starting level. You can also keep the starting level of the water about an inch after the pebbles. With the starting level set, you will now start creating your scale from there. Make sure that your rocks or marbles used in the container do not absorb the water as they will always end up causing an error in the reading.
Step 4: Marking the scale on the container
With your waterproof sharpie, proceed to inscribe a scale on the container. This is where the ruler or measuring tape comes in to be useful. Hold it against the container so that you can start making the markings. From the current level of water, that should be your zero. Make sure that the scale is clear so that you can later on know the exact level of the water.
You have successfully made a rain gauge and it is ready to be placed outdoors. You have to place the rain gauge on a level and open ground. The level ground will ensure that the gauge does not easily tip over. In the open field, it means that there are no obstructions that could affect the accuracy of the rain gauge.
Measuring the rain should be easy as you can see. Within just a few steps, we have been able to make a great rain gauge. The remaining part is for you to go and try it out for yourself. These steps are easy to understand and follow, so it should not be hard at all.