Have you ever wondered how strong the rain was last night? How you wished you could measure the precipitation to be able to predict if it were a soft rain or not. How you wished you could buy a rain gauge to do this for you. There’s good news for you—you can make your own rain gauge. And here’s better news—all the materials you need are already in your house.
Here are the things you need to make a rain gauge:
- One quart jar. A jar used to store mayonnaise is great for this project. Other cylindrical-shaped jars can be alternative to this one.
- Clear 6-inch plastic ruler. As an alternative, you can use marker to draw the measurement on the jar.
- Funnel. The funnel’s mouth should be as big or bigger than the jar’s funnel.
- Transparent waterproof tape or rubber band
Follow these instructions to finish your rain gauge project:
- Clean the jar. Remove the label if it has any. The jar should be as clear as possible.
- Install ruler. Attach the clear ruler on the jar using a rubber band. Make sure to put rubber band on the top and bottom of the ruler to secure it in place. The ruler’s base, or its “zero” side, should be at the jar’s base. Alternatively, you can put the ruler inside the jar and keep it in place by a transparent waterproof tape. If a clear ruler is not available, you can instead draw the measurement on the jar using a permanent marker. Copy the same measurements and lines there are on the ruler.
- Funnel. Put the funnel’s smaller part in the jar. The funnel’s mouth should cover the entire jar’s mouth so it can collect as many raindrops as possible.
- There, your rain gauge is finally made. Aside from making a rain gauge, you should also know how to use this device properly.
Here’s how to use the rain gauge properly.
- Put the rain gauge in a place where it can get as much rain as possible. The ideal is any open space like the center of a soccer field. The rain gauge should get the honest amount of raindrops from the sky, not from a dripping roof or tree.
- Record the amount of raindrops collected after each rainfall. It will be helpful to note how many minutes or hours the rainfall lasted. This way, you’ll be able to determine the amount of raindrops per second or minute.
- Empty the rain gauge after every rainfall for a more accurate measurement.
- You can make measuring raindrops fun and enjoyable for the kids by designing the jar with colorful drawings or designing it to be something else—say a teddy bear or a rain coated baby.
- You can also transform the rain gauge into a snow gauge by removing the funnel. Wait for the snow to melt and get the accurate measurement.
Making a rain gauge is not only enjoyable but can also be helpful to understand the changes in weather.