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Rain Gauge

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Often included as a part of a weather stations sensor suite, rain gauges are also available as self-contained specialty units for measuring and charting rainfall. Usually packaged with both a console unit for managing the data and a self-tipping bucket for collecting rainfall information. Most rain gauges work similarly to weather stations in that the console or base station receives information transmitted wirelessly from the sensor unit.

Both La Crosse Technology and Davis Instruments produce some kind of rain gauge. La Crosse manufactures a standalone product that is designed specifically collect, monitor, and store rainfall data. Some can record a long period of rainfall, and chart it accurately to 1/100th of an inch. La Crosse products also include an alarm that will sound at the first sign of rain, and a recording feature that keeps a history until it is reset manually.

Davis Instruments' rain gauge is designed to work alongside their popular Vantage Pro or GroWeather weather stations. It is designed to meet the guidelines of the World Meteorological Organization and to be exceptionally accurate. Besides the traditional rain gauge, Davis also offers a version that is designed for use in areas of extreme cold to measure the moisture level of snowfall and freezing rain. Not surprisingly, this unit is not compatible with standard Davis Solar Power Kit, and is instead powered by an AC-power adapter.

Installing a Rain Gauge

The main thing to remember when installing a rain gauge is that it should not be too close to any object that can might either keep precipitation from entering the gauge or splash any stray water towards the gauge. It should also be installed at a reasonable distance from trees or tall buildings. As a general rule, a rain gauge should be installed at a distance that is equal to twice the height of nearby obstacles. For example, if a tree is 30 feet tall, then the rain gauge should be mounted in a location 60 feet away (downwind) from the tree.


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