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Weather experiment making a rain gauge

Posted at 6:56 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 12:53:25-04

GRAND RAPIDS — Have you ever wondered how much rain falls at your house each day, each week or even each month? Today's weather experiment will teach us how to keep track of rainfall by building a rain gauge! This is the best way to keep track of the rain at your house and you can even be a big help to the National Weather Service and send in your storm reports throughout every season. First, let's get started with making this rain gauge!

What you need:
-2 liter clear plastic bottle
-water & pebbles
-journal notebook

Step 1: Cut the top off the bottle

Step 2: Flip the top of the bottle upside down and use it as a funnel for the top of your rain gauge

Step 3: Fill the bottle with a few stones or heavy pebbles with a bit of water. It shouldn’t be much, but just enough to prevent the bottle form falling over in the wind.

Step 4: Run tape vertically up the bottle. Mark off where the pebbles and water line fill up to in the bottle. This will be the starting point for measuring off the rest of the bottle. It gives a flat bottom to start measuring rainfall from.

Step 5: Measure and mark off every one inch up the bottle starting at that base point of the water and pebbles. You want to start your numbers at zero since sometimes we don’t get a full inch of rainfall. Each inch on this bottle equals a tenth of an inch of measured rainfall.

Step 6: Set it outside away from any structure or trees. You want it in a clear open area for the best readings. You’ll want to take your rainfall recordings at the same time each day to be the most accurate!

Have fun and start recording your rainfall totals! You can record how much rainfall there is in your backyard every time it rains with your own personal rain gauge. You will just want to remember to empty the bottle after recording each rainfall and set it back up again.

You can even help out the National Weather Service by sending in your storm reports through every season! If your parents download an app called mPing you can submit any reports and it will get set directly to the NWS! Your parents can even tweet or Facebook your results by tagging theGrand Rapids NWS office!

Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my Facebook page daily!