Rainfall since 0000 UTC
The total amount of rainfall measured since 0000 UTC [6 PM CST or 7 PM CDT] just above the ground; it is measured in discrete tips of the bucket (approximately 0.01 inch per tip, or 0.254 millimeters).
- The Mesonet uses an unheated tipping-bucket rain gauge with a 30.5 centimeter diameter opening 0.6 meters above the ground. The gauge works by funneling rainfall into one of two small buckets mounted on either side of a balance pivot. As each bucket fills, tips, and brings the other bucket beneath the funneled rain, the tip is counted (one tip is 0.254 millimeters or 0.01 inches of rain). Each Mesonet observation contains a running accumulation of rainfall since either 6 PM CST or 7 PM CDT. As each new evening begins, the accumulated rainfall is reset to zero.
- If the rainfall is very light, the bucket may only tip once every half hour or so. Thus, even if rain is continuous, rainfall might be recorded during every other 15-minute interval. If the rainfall is very heavy, there is a strong likelihood that rain has splashed out of the bucket. Thus, measurements during heavy rainfall periods generally underestimate the total amount of rainfall.
- Unheated gauges were chosen because of constraints on cost and power; the drawback is that unheated gauges underestimate snow or freezing rain totals. In addition, wet snow can clog the bucket while dry snow often blows away. Therefore, do not rely on the gauge observations during frozen precipitation events. Moreover, once air temperatures rise above freezing, the water equivalent of the melting precipitation is finally measured. The result is a delayed measurement of winter precipitation.
- The gauge is surrounded by a 121 centimeter alter shield in order to decrease wind effects.
|Standard - Primary
||Met One Tipping-Bucket Rain Gauge
||millimeters of water per day, PDF
||±5% over the range of 0 to 5 centimeters per hour.