Accurate and Simple Ways to Measure Rainfall

Accurate and Simple Ways to Measure RainfallRain and snow are an integral part of earth’s ecosystem. Snow helps regulate surface temperature. Once it melts, it helps fill many rivers and reservoirs all around the world. Rainfall waters our crops and helps things grow.

With so much concern over climate change, federal and state departments spend significant resources measuring the amount of rain and snowfall in different seasons and at various times throughout the year to see if any patterns emerge that can help with predicting future weather patterns.

The amount of rainfall in a local area is just as important to an agricultural department as it is to an individual farmer. This information can be used to determine how much watering your lawn or garden requires. A weather station may use them to track daily rainfall amounts and other precipitation data. They may even be used as part of a flood alert system.

Types of Rain Gauges


A manual rain gauge is usually just a clear acrylic or glass cylinder that’s usually marked in inches and centimeters or millimeters. They’re usually mounted on a fence, post or deck rail. Sometimes they’re just placed in or on the ground.

They’re usually placed in an area that’s easy to access and empty with no overhangs or other obstructions covering them, since that could impact the accuracy of the reading.

These are the easiest types of gauges to use since you simply take your reading and empty the container when you’re done. Some rain gauges are both functional and ornamental, serving as a gauge and a decorative accent.

However, the accuracy of these analog gauges aren’t 100% reliable.


A digital rain gauge contains a sensor that allows you to collect and analyze precipitation data. They often include a self-emptying rain collector that can transmit the data wirelessly.

They’re mounted in much the same way as an analog gauge, but can track short- and long-term rainfall records and send alerts about potential flood conditions.

The Most Accurate Way To Measure Rainfall

One inch of rain on a square foot of land weighs 5.20 lbs. One inch of rain on one acre of land weighs 113.31 tons.

The most accurate way to measure rainfall is to take a rain bucket of a known diameter (usually 12 or 24 inches) and place it on a scale. The scale subtracts the mass of the container from the mass of the rain.

They’re more accurate because they don’t underestimate the power of intense rain, which can actually affect the accuracy of an analog gauge and they can also measure other forms of precipitation including hail and snow.

Weighing gauges can even be equipped with a device that allows scientists to measure the quantity of chemicals contained in the atmosphere or a particular location through its rainfall. This is especially useful in studying the effects of greenhouse gases on the levels of acid rain.

Arlyn Scales’ Rain Gauge

Our rain gauges feature a load sensor machined from heat-treated metal alloy, which makes them extremely rugged and accurate.

High precision can be achieved since we compensate for a wide range of temperatures (-20°F to 120°F).

The gauge is protected from power supply changes with advanced circuitry that accommodates poor power supplies.

The automatic calibration features means no dealer service is ever required.

The device ships to you complete and ready to use right out of the box, which means there’s absolutely no set up required.

Order Yours Today

Place your order now or contact us with any questions you may have about our weighing rain gauges.