Alternative Technologies for Rain Gauges?

Hope its ok to post this - in light of the issues i am currently having with the rain readings from my WF and being part of the research lab, i thought it might be a good example to explore with future students.

The standard rain gauge - ie the copper bucket/plastic bucket provide (arguably) the most accurate local readings as these are not dependent on tipping buckets or haptic setups.

So the question is how to then read the rain in them - two techniques come to mind, using a load cell and a Raspberry pi/Arduino to weigh the rain (1g = 1mm so you need a sub g load cell) or image processing to use a camera to read the measurements up a scale and then convert that to mm/inch output.

Any other ways? Optical sensing perhaps…

So just a thought process but one I thought the community here might be interested in contributing to…



These are cheap enough for experimenting with:

The conclusion on is that they are not on par with other measuring devices, but probably a good example of a bad example if you know what I mean.

China is pushing out pro-grade 24Ghz doppler radar rain gauges, which might be fun to play with if you have the budget.

As an alternative to weighing the water or trying to use AI to read a ruler, my suggestion is to check and see if any DIY storage tank and/or well water depth project can be adopted for measuring water in a bucket. I wonder how one of those cheap Arduino/Pi sonar ranging sensors would do with measuring the distance to the surface of standing water???

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I would use visual, but you’ll have to deal with adjusting for dirt/etc. that can get in the gauges regardless. I’d think that might throw anything weight-based off, but I have to admit never weighing mine to see if it’s significant. I can read it in an instant regardless from those years in Chem classes.

Water isnt always 1 g per 1cl clean water is 0.98 g per 1 cl and the temperature of the water should be 20 degrees Celsius. I think rain is mostly not clean and more sure it hasn t a temp of 20 degrees C so the weight measurement isnt accurate.

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