An Overview Of The Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

An Overview Of The Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

Sure enough, there are various types of rain gauges. One of which is the tipping bucket rain gauge. Read more for further information about this instrument.

The Concept Explained

The rain gauge is basically the instrument that is used to collect and then measure the quantity of liquid precipitation over a certain time frame. It is different from the one used to measure the solid precipitation which is known as the snow gauge. The rain collection instrument is therefore utilized by the hydrologists and meteorologists so they can better have a more precise data in regard to the amount of rainfall in a localized area. More so, it also goes by the names pluviometer, cup, or udometer.

Nevertheless, the tipping bucket is the kind of rain gauge or meteorological device which measures the quantity of rain or precipitation that has fallen. It is a measuring device that is used to gauge rainfall.

Getting to Know How it Works

There are several parts that comprise the tipping bucket rain gauge. These parts allow the possibility of coming up with an accurate measure of the rainfall. When the rain falls, the funnel that composes the instrument catches it. The water then travels down towards the funnel and then drips into one of those thoroughly attached “buckets” that balance on a pivot. You can imagine a see-saw thing here.

The bucket placed on top is supported by a magnet until such time that it gets filled up to the specified amount. That is, about 0.001 inches of rain water. As soon as this amount is met, the magnet automatically releases its hold thereby making the bucket tip. The water then goes down to the drainage hole. While this process goes on, the other bucket is raised to position under the funnel. It is when the bucket tips that the reed switch or sensor sends the message to the weather station.

The display or weather station bases the readings on how frequent the switch is turned on. The display then estimates the rainfall by using the units of measurement like inches or millimeter.

A Discussion of its Advantages

The tipping bucket can determine the characteristics of the rain as to whether it is light, or medium, or heavy.

The quality of the rain is easily specified by means of determining the overall amount of rain which has fallen at a certain period of time. The period is normally for about an hour. A 10-minute counting of the number of the clicking allows the observer to tell the characteristic of the rainfall.

Some Disadvantages Revealed

The tipping bucket rain gauge is oftentimes doubted when it comes to the readings that it provides. For one, it is not guaranteed that an accurate data will be revealed in contrast to what a standard instrument does. The reason for which is because the rainfall may already stop even before the lever tips. Over the next few rounds of rainfall, it may actually take more than one drop of rain to get the lever to tip over. Hence, the measurement can read as 0.2 mm when in fact only a few droplets have fallen.

Another disadvantage of this type of rain gauge is that this instrument may underestimate the quantity of rainfall especially during the heavy rains or extreme snowfall.

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