Climate statistics for Australian locations

Definitions for rainfall

Instruments

Rainfall - Manual

203 mm manual rain gauge

Manual Rain Gauge

The most common instrument for measuring rainfall is the 203 mm rain gauge. This is essentially a circular funnel with a diameter of 203 mm which collects the rain into a graduated and calibrated cylinder. The top of the rain gauge is ideally 0.3 m above the ground with no nearby objects to alter the wind flow.

Rainfall - Automatic

Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge
- collecting funnel removed

The Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge - with two buckets on a pivot - is used with automatic weather stations to record rainfall, often down to one minute intervals. Once the equivalent of 0.2 mm of rainfall has been collected in one of the buckets, the weight is sufficient to tip it. As this bucket empties the other starts to fill. A counter records the number of tips.

Related Links

  • This page URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cdo/about/definitionsrain.shtml
  • About climate averages: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cdo/about/about-stats.shtml
  • Climate averages home page URL:  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml
  • Bureau of Meteorology website:  http://www.bom.gov.au