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How to Make a Rain Gauge

How much rain did that big storm drop? Make your own rain gauge and you'll always know the answer to this important weather question.


  • Step 1: Attach ruler Attach a ruler to the inside of the glass jar using clear, waterproof tape. Make sure the ruler touches the jar bottom.
  • TIP: Break the ruler in half to better fit inside the jar.
  • Step 2: Glue to wood Glue the jar to a block of wood to create stability in strong winds. Make sure the wood block is heavy enough to stand up to tumultuous weather.
  • Step 3: Place in open area Place the jar in an open area when the weather forecast calls for precipitation.
  • TIP: Avoid placing the rain gauge beneath trees, next to your home, or other structures.
  • Step 4: Measure the rainfall Measure the rainfall as soon as possible after a rain to avoid loss from evaporation. Calculate the measurement to the nearest tenth of an inch.
  • Step 5: Record rainfall Record rainfall measurements from your rain gauge for a period of months to track precipitation and compare months and seasons. Now, use your data to your advantage and plan the best time for your favorite outdoor activities.
  • FACT: As of 2008, Las Vegas was the driest major U.S. city, receiving 4.49 inches of rain annually.

You Will Need

  • Ruler
  • Clear
  • waterproof tape
  • Straight-sided glass jar
  • Glue
  • Wood block
  • Rainy day

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