How to make a Rain Gauge yourself in Just 10 Minutes [DIY Guide]

Introduction

Condensed water droplets from atmospheric vapor that are heavy enough to fall to the ground by the action of gravity are called as ‘rainfall.’ Rainfall is an important aspect of the water cycle, and it is responsible for the deposition of freshwater on the earth’s surface.

Rain is formed due to the movement of moisture along three-dimensional zones called weather fronts.

rain formation

While rainfall is a needed resource in various disciplines like agriculture, farming, irrigation, food industry, etc. it is also a threat as it can cause floods and other disasters. 

Hence, it becomes imperative to predict the amount of rainfall that might occur to plan better. Rainfall is highly variable and differs from place to place, from time to time, and is extremely difficult to measure easily. The extent of rainfall change during the same weather event varies from one street to another and one second to another on the same street. 

That's why you need a rain gauge or a device that you can use to measure the amount of rainfall occurring.

A rain gauge will allow you to measure the amount of rainfall occurring in your area so that you can make proper plans without any surprises raining on your party. 

rain gauge

Apart from buying a professional rain gauge, you can also make one yourself quite easily for home use. Here are some methods to make your rain gauge: 

Materials Required to Make a Rain Gauge:

  • Empty two/three-liter plastic bottles
  • Some clean pebbles, marbles, sand, or gravel
  • Tape for masking
  • Scale
  • Water
  • Permanent marker
  • Paper and pencil
  • Journal or book for recording measurements

Steps to Make a Rain Gauge:

1

Step 1 - Take Scissors

Use scissors to cut the top part of the bottle - the part where the wide part starts becoming narrow.

2

Step 2 - Fill the Bottle 

Fill the bottom of the bottle with gravel or pebbles to prevent it from flying away when it's windy. 

3

Step 3 - Make Funnel

Uncap the bottle and use the cap as a funnel instead - by keeping it on pointing downwards on the bottom part of the bottle and taping the lined edges to keep it firm. 

4

Step 4 - Make Ruler

Use a piece of tape and bind it in a line from top to bottom and use the ruler and marker to draw a line just above where the sand or stones end to act as the bottom of the rain gauge. 

4

Step 5 - Draw Measurements

Align the ruler with the tape and set it to mark every quarter inch or eighth-inch according to your preference. You can mark centimeters and half centimeters on the scale too.

4

Step 6 - Place the Bottle

Dig a hole in the ground and bury the bottle inside because the light plastic bottle can fly away with the breeze, and burying helps in anchoring the gauge.

4

Step 7 - Add water

Keep the bottle and fill some water until the bottom mark is filled. 

4

Step 8 - Record the Value

Keep the gauge outdoors and record the amount of water filled up after rainfall using the ruler and note it down.

Your rain gauge is operational! You can use the gauge to keep track of the rainfall occurring each day, week, or month. And to be honest, these DIY gauges couldn't give a precise result as expected. The best alternative option is to get the top selling rain gauge to get the accurate results.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you're a weather enthusiast or not, a rain gauge is an important tool to gain a better perspective about your surroundings. Besides, you can make one at home with practically no investment! 

You often hear in weathermen giving information about the speed of the wind, the direction of the wind, humidity, atmospheric pressure. Did you ever wonder how these weathermen can give such meticulous intel? The speed of the wind is conventionally measured by specialized bodies such as meteorological departments. 

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