First Alert Weather In-Depth: Making Your Own Rain Gauge

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – We received a fair amount of rainfall today. And, the First Alert Doppler Radar had a good handle on how much precipitation had fallen. There was about two inches near the town of Albion and less than a half-inch south of Rochester in twenty-four hours.

But how do you measure rainfall in your own backyard? You can go out to the garden center and buy one of those sophisticated rain gauges, which will cost you a few bucks. Or, you can actually make your own rain gauge right at your home.

How do you do this? First, you need an empty two-liter bottle. Second, get a six-inch piece of masking tape and then, a standard ruler. To assemble your rain gauge, you will cut off the top of the bottle and then move on to your piece of tape and ruler. As accurately as possible, transfer those numbers from the ruler, to the piece of masking tape. Then, go back to the bottle top and place it on the bottle and place it upside down in the bottle. You can use a paper clip to secure the top. At the bottom of the bottle, put in a couple of stones and then fill the water up to exactly where the zero starts on that piece of tape. That numbered piece of tape is the way you are going to measure the rainfall. The rainfall is going to collect inside the bottle and will record the number. After the rainfall, you should empty the bottle for the next rain event.

Keep in mind, that this is not a perfect system. You’ll want to place it away from the house and away from the trees in your yard. The wind is also going to have an impact on accuracy, however, this rain gauge is one way of keeping track of the weather.

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