How to Minimize Errors While Measuring Precipitation

rain gauges

Of all the thousands of things that people measure, precipitation is the simplest, both electronically and mechanically. At the same time, getting an accurate measurement is somewhat challenging. After all, this includes three specific factors: accumulation, amount, and intensity. So, when you buy a rain gauge, you want to keep that in mind.

Ways to Avoid Measurement Errors

It’s important to get accurate measurements for all three of these factors. However, the one where you’ll see the most errors occur is in intensity readings. To ensure you get accurate measurements all the way around, you want to buy a rain gauge, whether online or by visiting a trusted brick and mortar business.

As with any product, quality dictates results. So, if you want consistently accurate measurements, buy the best rainfall measuring device possible. Although you’ll find several options, the most commonly used is the “tipping bucket.” As the name implies, this device has a mechanism located under a funnel that tips the bucket as it fills with rain.

The downside is that the tipping mechanism can only work so fast. Because of that, some level of water often spills, and that compromises accuracy. If you choose to buy a rain gauge of this type, remember that accuracy comes down to the rain’s rate or intensity.

As a tipping bucket gauge tips, it prompts a switch to close. In response, a data logger counts each tip. To get accurate measurements for the intensity of precipitation, you need a rainfall measuring device that does more than just count bucket tips. Fortunately, an experienced supplier has gauges with a module added to do the calculations for timing. Those calculations then go to the data logger.

That’s one benefit when you buy a rain gauge with a tipping mechanism, but there’s another. The module works well as a backup. In other words, if power to the data logger goes out for any reason, you won’t lose valuable measurements.

To correct intensity, calculate the amount of rainfall per hour. Next, calculate a correction for the amount from the intensity. A simple way to correct either accumulation or amount from intensity is to measure the time in between each bucket tip. Then, use that information to predict the amount of rain per tip. This requires a simple unit conversion for the time between bucket tips and the amount of rainfall.

Wind also causes errors when measuring precipitation accumulation, amount, and intensity. High winds can cause significant loss, up to 20 percent. If you decide to buy a rain gauge online, make sure you choose one with an algorithm that mitigates the way that wind influences rain catch.

A Reputable Source for a Rainfall Measuring Device

To get accurate measurements for precipitation, always start with a top-quality device. We invite you to contact us at Comptus, check our portfolio, and buy a rain gauge online.

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