How do you get accurate rainfall measurements?

rosiewJuly 28, 2012

Please share where I can go online to find rainfall amounts. I've Googled around, but obviously not inputting the right words.

Appreciate your help!

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA 30518

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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

We are in Atlanta ITP and have been taking our own historical rainfall measurements for years.

If you mean projected rainfall, I have nothing to suggest. I've lived here since the early '70s and have never found that any projection (TV, radio, NWS, Weather Channel,, etc.) truly reflects the particular microclimate that surrounds me.

Best Wishes--Carl

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Carl, thanks for the reply. I do not mean projected, looking for actual. May I assume y'all have a well placed rain gauge? That would give true readings for my property (quite a bit OPT).

For now, I'm quite unscientifically using a straight sided container weighed down with a small rock.

Point of my post was to find out if precipitation IS measured, and where these numbers are published.

Regards, Rosie

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:38PM
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bumping this because I really, really want to know. Understand there will be variables between reporting stations and my place, but surely there's info available. Just don't know how to find it.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 4:25PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Try Weather Underground. Put in your zip code and then scroll to the bottom where you will find weather stations. Click on one and then choose daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or custom.

These are personal weather stations. Try several. Some are better than others.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Thanks for the posting, zeuspaul. I visited some of the sites listed via Weather Underground, but only found 'systems'. I'm not growing crops. Just want to know about my very own rainfall on my less than 1/2 acre. Will look into WU closer to see if they have gauges.

Have used hardware store gauges before. They didn't last. But I'll keep looking.

See from your "My Page" that you live in God's country.

Rosie, envious

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 6:41AM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

I misunderstood your question. I thought you were looking for published rainfall totals. Weather Underground has published totals. Perhaps one of their advertizers sells gauges.

I use a plastic gauge that you stick in the ground. I got it for less than $10 at a local home improvement store. I don't leave it out because the plastic ones don't hold up well in the sun.

If you want a rain gauge that is durable in the sun look for a glass rain gauge with a metal mount.


Here is a link that might be useful: Weems and Plath Glass gauge with brass mount

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:04PM
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zeus, thanks for the link. Really nice looking gauge. Putting it on my wish list. Saving EVERY penny now for a pergola build.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:57PM
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I use a big pill bottle and mark the inches with a permanent marker. Anything will work as long as the sides are upright.
You can't go with what is in your area.

Weather services use a big pot.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 6:50PM
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k2marsh, thanks! The way it's raining here now, I'd need a straight sided quart container. Agree that most any container with straight sides works. I use tuna fish cans when I have to irrigate and don't want to over-water.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:56AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

A rain gauge is the only way to go in an area where pop up storms occur. I work about 30 miles away from home and it is amazing how many times it rains one location but not the other.

As a side note, the rain gauge comes in hand when watering as well.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 3:20AM
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I've also been keeping my own records for years. As an avid Gardner, I need the data to project what I should be watering for optimum health of my plants. I used the hardware store gauges, understanding they do take maintenance. They need to be emptied daily for accurate numbers. For my historical comparisons, I use the Weather Channel. It's a dig to find the info but you can get historical averages. I set up my own spreadsheet with formulas to total monthly totals and close out every year and compare all against historical. It's a little work, but I find the talking heads on the local news hasn't got a good clue about what is really going on from a local standpoint. I hear drought when I'm swimming and I'm parched when they say I should be treading water. I'm also upgrading my weather station hardware this year to a better system to assist with the manual totals. Aside from some satellite pictures and some forecasting on big systems, I find more and more the TV weather forecasters are pretty useless.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:43AM
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