Rain gauges are used to measure the amount of rain in a specific area over a set amount of time. They can be simple or complex, and they do not measure frozen precipitation.

Other Names

Rain gauges are also known as pluviometers or udometers. These are scientific names; most people know them simply as rain gauges.

History

The first known rainfall record keepers were the ancient Greeks. Records date back to 500 B.C.

Modern Rain Gauges

The first modern rain gauge was invented in 1662 by Christopher Wren. It was a tipping-bucket style gauge.

Wind Limitations

Rain gauges do not work in hurricanes. Water cannot accumulate in the measurement tubes if the wind is too strong.

Temperature Limitations

If it is very close to freezing, precipitation can freeze on the edges of a rain gauge. This causes low measurements.

Types

There are four main types of rain gauges. These are the graduated cylinder, weight based gauges, tipping buckets and the optical gauge.