How to Use a Rain Gauge

Rain gauges are devices designed to measure how much rain was received at a specific location over a designated period of time. Rain gauges are easy to use and can act as an accurate way to measure how much water plants are getting over time.


    • 1

      Clean your rain gauge to begin use. Allow it to dry thoroughly before using it.

    • 2

      Place your rain gauge straight up and down at the location where you want to measure the rain. Place the rain gauge outside free and clear of any buildings and trees or plants. Keep in mind that rain can fall at angles down to the earth. So it is ideal to find a place for your rain gauge that's not obstructed in any way for a good 30 to 50 feet. Even if your rain gauge is not in the immediate vicinity of the area you want to measure, you can still get a fairly close reading of what the level of rain is that you've received.

    • 3

      Make sure your rain gauge is secure so it won't tip over. Get a rain gauge that comes with a secure stand. Or better yet, screw or nail your rain gauge holder to a two-by-four or another beam that doesn't obstruct it's view of the sky.

    • 4

      Wait for the rain to be completely over before checking the level of rain to get the full rain reading. Rain gauges measure rain in tenths of inches.

    • 5

      Determine the period of time that you want to measure the rainfall. Some people pour the rain out of their rain gauges at the same time each week to get an idea of the total rainfall for a week. Others check their rain gauges after each rainfall.

    • 6

      Write down in a notebook the amount of rain in your rain gauge in order to track the amount of rain you receive.

    • 7

      Empty your rain gauge, and return it to its holder so it's ready to collect the next round of rain.

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