How to Measure Rain – Rain Gauge Scales

Rain and snow are an integral part of earth’s ecosystem. Snow helps regulate surface temperature, and once it melts, it fills many rivers and reservoirs all around the world. 


Rainfall waters our crops and helps life to grow. But, at the same time, too much water and snow can harm your plants, so you must be prepared.


To stay proactive, farmers, gardeners, and business owners use rain gauge scales to ensure they’re prepared to take proper action. In this article, the rain gauge scale experts at Arlyn Scales reveal everything you must know to efficiently and accurately measure rain- and snowfall.

Why Measure Rainfall?

Federal and state departments spend significant resources measuring the amount of rain- and snowfall in different seasons and at various times throughout the year. With so much concern over climate change, they do this 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.

Accurate and Simple Ways to Measure Rainfall

The simplest way to measure rainfall is with a rain gauge. This tool is used by meteorologists everywhere to monitor the amount of precipitation that falls over a given period. 


Most gauges come in various sizes and shapes, so you can choose one that fits your needs. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of the gauge, the more accurate it will be at measuring rainfall. 


There are several types of rain gauges available depending on what type of data you need. Rainfall is typically measured in either millimeters or inches, so make sure to choose the type that best suits your needs. 

Types of Rain Gauges

There are two primary types of rain gauge scales:

  • Analog
  • Digital


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. However, digital gauges can track short- and long-term rainfall records and send alerts about potential flood conditions.

The Most Accurate Way To Measure Rainfall

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. Additionally, 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 gasses on the levels of acid rain.

The Most Efficient & Accurate Rain Gauge at Arlyn Scales 

Our rain gauges feature a load sensor machined from heat-treated metal alloy, which makes them extremely rugged and accurate. We compensate for a wide range of temperatures (-20°F to 120°F), empowering our scales to achieve unparalleled precision.


The load sensor is produced from a heat-treated, stainless steel alloy, and the gauge is protected from power supply changes with advanced circuitry that accommodates poor power supplies. The automatic calibration features means you’ll never require dealer service for a simple calibration.


The device is shipped to you complete and ready to use right out of the box, which means there’s absolutely no set up required. This enables businesses of all sizes to be proactive in determining which parts of your operations see the most snow- and rainfall.

Measure Rain with Rain Gauge Scales from Arlyn Scales

Rain gauges are a great way to measure rainfall and keep track of how much precipitation your area is getting. There are many different types of rain gauges, but the simplest and most accurate way to measure rainfall is with a scale-based rain gauge. 


Best of all, with nearly 40 in the industry, the metrology experts at Arlyn Scales can ensure you’re equipped with the best gauge for your operations. To learn more about measuring precipitation with a high-precision rain gauge from Arlyn Scales, reach out to our team today.