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Type of Rain Measurement

Name Student ID Course Subject Name Subject Code Lecturer Submission Date

: Abdul Rahman bin Hilmi : SCM 010 412 : BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering : Hydraulics & Hydrology : ECH 4413 : Mr. Shakri : 17/10/2013

Precipitation is defined as liquid or solid condensation of water vapour falling from clouds or deposited from air onto the ground. When cloud particles become too heavy to remain suspended in the air, they fall to the earth as precipitation. Precipitation occurs in a variety of forms; hail, rain, freezing rain, sleet or snow. Precipitation in the form of ice flakes, such as snow, is called solid precipitation, and that in the form of water drops is sometimes called liquid precipitation for distinction. Rain is drops of liquid water falling from the sky. In order for the raindrops to become heavy enough to fall, droplets of water in the cloud collide together with other droplets and other particles in the air - like soot and dust - to become larger. Once the drops become too heavy to stay in the cloud, we get rain. There are three main types of rainfall - frontal rain, orographic rain and convective rain. Precipitation is measured as the amount of water that reaches horizontal ground or the horizontal ground projection plane of the earths surface, and is expressed as a vertical depth of water or the water equivalent of solid precipitation. The unit of precipitation is the millimetre.

Type of Rain Measurement

Types of rain gauges include cylindrical rain gauge, ordinary rain gauge and tipping bucket rain gauge. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages for collecting rain data. There are different types of rain gauges that can be classified into two main categories: nonrecording gauges, and recording gauges

Cylindrical Rain Gauge As this type of rain gauge can also be used to measure snow, it is alternatively known as a cylindrical rain/snow gauge. It consists of a cylindrical vessel with a uniform diameter from top to bottom and an orifice at the top. It does not have a funnel. Rainwater enters through the orifice and accumulates in the cylindrical vessel, which is weighed at regular intervals with a precipitation scale. As the amount of precipitation is determined by subtracting the vessel weight from the total weight, the dry vessel is weighed before observation. A rain-measuring glass may be used instead of a precipitation scale. To measure solid precipitation such as snow and hail with such a device, a known amount of warm water is added to melt the precipitation; the total amount is then measured with the measuring glass,

and the amount of warm water added is subtracted from the total to obtain the precipitation amount. The precipitation scale is graduated in millimetres based on the size of the rain gauge orifice.

Ordinary Rain Gauge Ordinary rain gauges are the type used at non-automated observatories. With such devices, the observer takes measurements using a rain-measuring glass at regular intervals. This type of rain gauge consists of a receptacle, a shell, a storage bottle, a storage vessel and a rain-measuring glass, which is a measuring cylinder graduated in precipitation amounts based on the diameter of the receptacles orifice. The shell acts as a container for the storage bottle and the storage vessel. The storage vessel is a cylindrical metallic container that houses the storage bottle. The measuring cylinder is transparent, and is graduated in units of precipitation.

Rainwater entering through the receptacle accumulates in the storage bottle, and the precipitation amount is measured with the measuring glass.

Rainwater that overflows from the storage bottle enters the storage vessel. The amount of overflow is also measured with the measuring glass, and is added to the amount of precipitation in the storage bottle.

Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge A tipping bucket rain gauge has a receiving funnel leading to two small metal collectors (buckets). When a bucket accumulates 0.2 mm of rain water, the weight of the water causes it to tip and empty itself. Each time a bucket tips, an electrical contact is made, thereby enabling recording or rainfall amount and intensity with time. The maximum detectable rainfall rate is 200 mm/hr. This type of rain gauge generates an electric signal (i.e., a pulse) for each unit of precipitation collected, and allows automatic or remote observation with a recorder or a counter. The only requirement for the instrument connected to the rain gauge is that it must be able to count pulses. With each tip, an electronic signal is sent to a data logger that records the time of tip occurrence. The known amount of each tip and its occurrence time makes it possible to calculate the incremental amounts of rain over variable or fixed intervals of time. The tipping bucket rain gauge is not as accurate as the standard rain gauge because the rainfall may stop before the lever has tipped. Tipping buckets also tend to underestimate the amount of rainfall, particularly in heavy rainfall events. The advantage of the tipping bucket rain gauge is that the character of the rain (light, medium or heavy) may be easily obtained. Rainfall character is decided by the total amount of rain that has fallen in a set period (usually 1 hour) and by counting the number of pulses in a 10 minute period the observer can decide the character of the rain.

Application of Rain Gauges in Malaysia

The first rainfall station in Peninsular Malaysia was established in 1878 at Tanglin Clinic Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as Tanglin Hospital). From 1879 to 1900, manual rainfall gauges were installed at 19 hospitals in the Peninsula for public health study. With the establishment of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage in 1932, the rainfall station network grew rapidly in the early 1900's in support of agriculture and water resources development. By the end of 1972, the National Hydrological Network comprises 86 principal rainfall stations and 647 secondary rainfall stations In Peninsula, total rainfall amount received in most areas were less than 200 mm. In addition, almost all areas in Perak, southern part of Kedah, northern part of Selangor, majority parts of Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, central and western part of Johor and western part of Pahang received rainfall distribution less than 100 mm and categorized as 60% below average values. Only areas in interior Kelantan, interior Terengganu and east coast part of Pahang received total rainfall amount around 500 mm, which was 60% above average values. Peninsula recorded number of rain days ranged from 7 to 17 days.

Non Recording (Manual) Gauge in Malaysia The Department of Irrigation & Drainage Malaysia has adopted as standard equipment the 203 mm diameter rain gauge for daily rainfall measurement. The gauge is made of copper sheet material and it is an ordinary rain gauge as described in earlier page.

Automatic Rainfall Recorders in Malaysia All Principal and some Secondary rainfall stations are equipped with rainfall recorders which is a type of tipping bucket rain gauge as explained above so that information on rainfall intensities, duration of storms and general hyetograph shape can be obtained for estimations of runoff. The Department has adopted the Hattori type rainfall recorders attached to a standard 0.5 mm tipping bucket rainfall sensor as being host suitable and reliable for our requirements. There are two types of Hattori rainfall recorders in use, namely, the weekly and the long-term recorders which are attached to the same type of tipping bucket rainfall sensor.

How Pressure Difference Affects Evaporation

Evaporation is a very important part of the water cycle. Heat from the sun, or solar energy, powers the evaporation process. It soaks up moisture from soil in a garden, as well as the biggest oceans and lakes. The water level will decrease as it is exposed to the heat of the sun. Air pressure or vapour pressure is one of many factors that affect evaporation. If air pressure is high on the surface of a body of water, then the water will not evaporate easily. The pressure pushing down on the water makes it difficult for water to escape into the atmosphere as vapour. Storms are often high-pressure systems that prevent evaporation. The vapour pressure level depends on the amount of the molecules already in the gas phase surrounding the liquid. This property will also influence the rate of evaporation. For example, at the surface of water there are molecules going from liquid to gas but also from gas back to liquid. The rate of evaporation is determined by the difference between these two processes. If there are a lot of water molecules in gas phase surrounding the area of fluid that is exposed, a greater number by chance will replace the molecules that are escaping the fluid. So if we are measuring the rate at which the mass of water in a lake changes over time which is the same as measuring the rate of evaporation, the process will slow down when the fluid is surrounded by more water molecules in the gas state where the air pressure is greater.

Discussion - Gauges Used in Other Countries

Hellmann Gauge The Hellmann gauge is one of the most widely used precipitation gauges around the world. It is the standard gauge in 30 countries including Germany, Switzerland and Finland. The total number of the gauge is greater than 30,000. The Hellmann gauge is a non-recording gauge for both rain and snow measurement. It is about 43 cm high, with orifice area of 200 cm2.

There are various versions of the Hellmann gauges, such as German Hellmann, Danish Hellmann, Polish Hellmann and Hungarian Hellmann. NWS 8" Standard Non-Recording Gauge The U.S. standard 8" non-recording gauge has been the official precipitation measuring instrument at climatological stations in the United States since the beginning of the US National Weather Service.

Today this gauge is still widely used at 7,500 locations in the U.S. and at about 1340 stations in other countries such as the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Philippines.

There are several methods of gauging the rainfall to be used depending on the suitability of the equipment, how accurate do we need the data to be and also the cost to implement. Manual gauges are in general cheaper to install than their automatic counterparts due to the electronic equipment the automatic gauges have as an extra feature. However, automatic gauges are self-recording eliminating the need for frequent observation which the manual gauges cannot offer.