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How to measure rainfall at home?

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You can buy a cheap (usually <$10) plastic rain gauge at most hardware stores (i.e. Home Depot) or even Walmart/Target. Simply stick it in the ground (or mount it) in an area that is away from obstacles (trees, buildings, ect) and well exposed in every direction. It should also be in an area where it is unlikely to be tampered with by humans or animals. Simply check and empty the gauge each day at about the same time, or anytime immediately after it rains. Keep a log of your readings. The more frequently you can check, the better, as evaporation will have an impact. For a more automated approach, you can buy tipping bucket rain gauges, that will automatically empty and measure the amount of rainfall electronically. You can get data for these right on your computer, but they will be more expensive, especially if its part of a full weather station. I believe there are also some types of sensor that try to measure precipitation by measuring rainfall rate. Either of these electronic ... more
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