Salem Clock Shop

Salem Clock Shop - 1085 Broadway Street NE, Salem, OR 97301 - (503) 581-3803 Fax: (503) 581-3331

You can build a home rain gauge with a few simple items.

Rain Gauge

Pour 1 inch of water into the large-diameter can (for collecting the rain), measuring it as carefully as possible.


Then, pour the water into the smaller diameter jar (for measuring the rain).


Apply a strip of masking tape vertically on the outside of the jar, and mark both the level of the water and the bottom of the jar on the inside.


Measure the distance between those two marks and divide by ten, then mark those increments off on the tape--this will give you an easy-to-read scale showing rainfall in tenths of an inch. (Use the centimeter side of your ruler for this step.)


Place the collecting can outside, away from the house, trees, or anything else that might interfere with the rainfall. After a storm, pour the contents of the collecting can into the measuring jar and chart the results.


Should you get more than one inch of rainfall at one time, pour the water off an inch at a time, until the can is empty. Don't forget to check the can soon after a storm, or some of your data will evaporate.

Bill of Materials


          Can, at least 3 in diameter


          Masking tape

          Glass jar, about 1-1/2 in diameter


          Ruler showing inches and centimeters

          Permanent marker