Rain Gauge Advice

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by DavidB52, Nov 7, 2022.

  1. DavidB52

    DavidB52 Active Member

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    Coquitlam, B.C. Zone 8a
    It would tickle my fancy to set up a rain gauge in the back yard.

    They are available at many hardware stores and nurseries, and it would be nice to measure the rainfall in my own micro-climate.

    So, I'm coming here seeking advice.
    Anybody in these forums use a rain gauge?
    Any features to recommend, or products to avoid?

    One aspect, in particular, has me concerned.
    Since most of them tend to be made of plastic or glass, is there a big risk of cracking when temperatures dip below freezing?
    Ideally, I'd like to get one that lasts years, instead of having to replace it every year.
  2. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Burnaby, Canada
    I have a simple clear plastic rain gauge with a spike at the bottom for support. It holds a maximum of 35 mm of rain and has marks for each mm. I've used it for more than 5 years with no problems; but I don't leave it out during the winter, because it would probably break if water in it froze. You can get fancy, electronic ones that record and store rain data; but this type is adequate for tracking local rainfall during the dry season. We never have droughts during the winter.
  3. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    It's pretty easy to make your own rain gauge - there are lots of websites that describe different methods.
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    I'm using this type of digital rain gauge:
    Wireless rain gauge Monsoon | Rain gauge | Weather stations and rain gauges | Measuring Instruments | Labware | Carl Roth - International
    It is in use for several years already.
    Positive sides:
    1. It's pretty cheap (compared to proper digital rain gauges).
    2. Keeps track of rainfall without daily intervention, even hourly data for recent rainfalls.
    3. Summarized data stored for whole season.
    4. Pretty accurate, especially in case of moderate intensity rainfall. If the surface of the gauge is hydrophobic (treated with a product for car windows, that repells water), then the accuracy improves even for light rains.
    5. Has min/max/current thermometer functions.
    6. Works with radio link, you can keep the control/display unit safely indoors, separate from the actual gauge.
    7. The gauge is weatherproof.

    Negative sides:
    1. The user interface (control buttons) is far from the best.
    2. The display is pretty difficult to read (small), historic precipitation data are presented as a graph only.
    3. No way to load data from the gauge to the computer.
    4. Detailed (hourly) data are available only for a few recent days, older info is available at daily or weekly level.
    5. The gauge may pretty easily get glogged by the litter from trees (leaves, needles, etc)
    6. Radio link between the gauge and the control unit works only from pretty short distance. If there is wall between, then reliable connection is granted within 10 meters or so.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
    wcutler likes this.

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