rain > Rain GaugeInstrument Type(s) > Baseline • Guest

A rain gauge (RAIN) gathers and measures the amount of liquid precipitation over a set period of time. ARM uses many types of rain gauges at its climate research facilities.

The tipping bucket rain gauge consists of a funnel that collects and directs precipitation into a seesaw container that tips after a pre-set amount of liquid enters. When the seesaw tips, it sends an electrical signal that is counted by a recording device.

The weighing precipitation gauge consists of a storage container, which is weighted to record the mass of precipitation. Some models measure the mass of precipitation using a pen on a rotating drum or by using a vibrating wire attached to a data logger. The advantage of this type of rain gauge is that it can measure all forms of precipitation.

Disdrometers are used with rain gauges to add details about the precipitation being gathered. They are capable of measuring the velocity and size distribution of precipitation, measurements important for studying the evolution of water droplets.

Primary Derived Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Matrosov S, M Shupe, and T Uttal. 2022. "High temporal resolution estimates of Arctic snowfall rates emphasizing gauge and radar-based retrievals from the MOSAiC expedition." Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 10(1), 000101, 10.1525/elementa.2021.00101.
Research Highlight

Tansey E, R Marchand, A Protat, S Alexander, and S Ding. 2022. "Southern Ocean Precipitation Characteristics Observed from CloudSat and Ground Instrumentation during the Macquarie Island Cloud & Radiation Experiment (MICRE):April 2016 to March 2017." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127(5), e2021JD035370, 10.1029/2021JD035370.
Research Highlight


Zhang Z, A Varble, Z Feng, J Hardin, and E Zipser. 2021. "Growth of Mesoscale Convective Systems in Observations and a Seasonal Convection-Permitting Simulation over Argentina." Monthly Weather Review, 149(10), 10.1175/MWR-D-20-0411.1.
Research Highlight

Dorsey K and D Feldman. 2021. Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory. Ed. by Rolanda Jundt, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-20-016. 10.2172/1669356.

Wang D, M Bartholomew, SE Giangrande, and JC Hardin. 2021. Analysis of Three Types of Collocated Disdrometer Measurements at the ARM Southern Great Plains Observatory. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-275. 10.2172/1828172.

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