How is precipitation measured?

1 Answer
Jul 13, 2015

By using a gauge depending on the type of precipitation.


To measure rain we use a rain gauge or a tipping bucket rain gauge (used to measure intensity not total amount of rainfall. To measure snow we use a device called a nipher snow gauge which is designed in such a way to minimize the affect of blowing snow that goes into the gauge. We take the snow from the gauge and melt it and measure the amount.

Additionally we can also use a snow ruler if we determine the nipher snow gauge is inaccurate. We make the assumption that the depth of the water would be 10th the measure depth of the snow.

Freezing rain is measured the same as rain. Sleet is measured the same as snow, because sleet is actually just wet snow.