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A rain gauge is an instrument that measures the amount of water precipitated in a certain place. The unit of measure is in millimeters (mm). A rainfall of 5 mm indicates that if all rainwater accumulates on flat ground without draining or evaporating, the height of the water layer would be 5 mm. The millimeters (mm) are equivalent to the liters per square meter.

The rain gauge collects atmospheric water in its various states. The total is called precipitation. For solid states, measurements are made once the liquid state has been reached.

There are two basic models of rain gauges: direct reading and recorders.

Those of direct reading have a container and a funnel. The container is emptied every 12 hours in a graduated cylinder with a section ten times smaller than the receiving one, so it is possible to establish a relationship between the height in the cylinder and the precipitation in millimeters per square meter.

The logging rain gauges can be of three types: heavy, tilt tank or float, according to the procedure used to record the measurement once a certain level has been reached.

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