Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rain Gauge

We have been going through a heat wave and dry spell this month in our area, so the rain from the stray thunderstorm is welcome.  A  few weeks ago we created this rain gauge, and I wanted to share with you how much rain we got over the last couple of days. 

This past year I was a cub scout leader for a different den than the one that  Cole was in (long story, this year is different!) and I had looked this up on the internet to find out how to make rain gauges.   Unfortunately I do not know the websites to list as a reference.   

We took an empty two liter bottle and cut the top part off of the bottle where it starts to slope inward.  Like this. 


We taped it to the inside of the bottle upside down so it acted like a funnel for the rain.  Then using a ruler, we drew a line with a sharpie to create a baseline at the bottom of the bottle where the plastic slopes inward.   We then took a ruler and using the baseline drew the lines for the 1/4,  1/2,  3/4 and 1 inch increments. 


We put rocks in the bottom to act as a weight and added water to the line to act as the starting point of our measurement. 


I am happy to say that it started raining on Monday afternoon and it has rained off and on until this morning.  When we checked the totals this afternoon it showed that we had an inch and a half of rain over those two days.  I do not know if our modest little rain gauge is accurate or not, but it cannot be too far off.  Here is what we saw.   


One thing that we didn’t do and found out after the first rainstorm was that there wasn’t a way to pour off the excess water to get ready for the next rain.  I had take it apart to pour out the water to get it back to the start line.  While it was apart I also created a hole towards the top of the rain gauge to act as a spout to get ready for the next rain.  This is much easier to do than to take it apart each time and tape it together again. 



  1. Cool! I'm visiting you on the blogwalk. Hello, nice to meet you.

  2. I really like this idea. I plan to use it with my boys real soon! I've been wanting a rain gauge, but it's one of those things that I just never think to pick up when I'm in town. I think making one will be even better. Thanks for the idea. BTW I'm doing the blog walk and I'm now following you. Hope you'll follow me back :-)

  3. Awesome idea for a hands-on science activity and experiment!

  4. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing. We do live in an area that can get quite a bit of rain. I'm thinking this would be good to do at various times through the year.

    Oh I'm stopping by on my Crew Blog Tour and I'm following you now.


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