WANTED: rainfall observers

Would you like to be part of the UK registered rain gauge network? Do you have space to accommodate a rain gauge in your garden?

If you have a space in your garden or on your land for a rain gauge and time to record the rainfall each day, please read on…

This is a guest post from the Environment Agency

Private rainfall observers are crucial to the UK’s network of Met Office registered rainfall measurement stations and there are gaps in that network – maybe you could help. The map below shows where new rainfall observers are currently most needed in England. Green areas have good coverage. Yellow, orange and red areas really need new observers to volunteer.

If you think you might be able to help or would just like more information, please do get in touch: nationalhydrology@environment-agency.gov.uk. If in Scotland, visit the SEPA website: https://envscot-csportal.org.uk/rainfallobs/.

Ideally, in order to provide useful rainfall data:
1) you would be able to empty the rain gauge each day (occasional ‘accumulations’ can be dealt with, but shouldn’t be the norm, the gauge should be read at the same time each day – recommended 09:00 GMT);
2) the rain gauge needs to be located away from buildings, trees etc. to prevent overshadowing (the pictures below show two examples of observer-read storage rain gauges);
3) you would record the readings on a rainfall card and send it to us every month by email or post.

Your data will be sent to the Met Office and form part of the national rainfall archive. The data you collect will be used by environmental regulators, business, academics and members of the public to improve our understanding of current and future rainfall patterns.

To see a video of how rainfall is measured, and more pictures/information, please visit: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/guides/observations/how-we-measure-rainfall
– the relevant gauge for private observers is the 5 inch storage rain gauge.


Examples of privately-read storage rain gauges (the dome on top of the gauges is not normally present – that’s just placed there during the three-yearly inspection, to check for overshadowing).

About Ed Hawkins

Climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Reading. IPCC AR5 Contributing Author. Can be found on twitter too: @ed_hawkins

4 thoughts on “WANTED: rainfall observers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *