Updated August 28, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

The 8 Best Wireless Rain Gauges

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you are interested in meteorology, carefully controlling how much water you use on your lawn or fields, or trying to monitor how full your cistern is, these wireless rain gauges are perfect for effortlessly and accurately checking rainfall levels. Our list includes a wide variety of options, ranging from simple models to fully-functional, Wi-Fi-connected personal weather stations. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wireless rain gauge on Amazon.

8. General Tools 3-In-1

7. Irritrol Sensor

6. AcuRite Self-Emptying

5. Ambient Weather Station

4. Netatmo Smart

3. RainWise Dual Display

2. La Crosse Weather Station

1. Oregon Scientific Remote

Precision Of Precipitation

Today, there are more accurate tools specifically-dedicated to providing rainfall measurements for a variety of purposes.

When I was a kid, I remember thinking of inventive ways to keep myself busy. As an example, I can recall stacking a bunch of my mom's makeup mirrors on top of one another on my windowsill on a rainy day, assuming their reflection of available light would bounce back on the clouds causing a downpour. I have no idea where the logic of that pseudoscience came from, and I eventually came to realize that a mirror was incapable of seeding a cloud. Little did I know that childlike wonder, curiosity, and desire to learn about rain and its measurements could have been partially satisfied with a simple bucket to catch the water. Today, there are more accurate tools specifically-dedicated to providing rainfall measurements for a variety of purposes. One such tool is the wireless rain gauge.

Regardless of its type, a rain gauge is defined as a meteorological instrument designed to measure the amount of precipitation that falls within a specific time interval in a certain location. The tool typically leverages a cylindrical cup and funnel system. In this type of setup, a rain gauge's funnel channels water into a cylinder, which is inside an even larger container that fills up and ultimately collects any and all water. When measurements are taken, the volume of water in both the cylinder and container deliver an exact reading for the total amount of precipitation that actually fell in a given time period. Many wireless rain gauges utilize a tipping bucket operation. In this scenario, two small buckets are mounted to a fulcrum and balanced like a see-saw. The buckets are tightly-manufactured and designed to hold an exact amount of precipitation (around 0.01 inch or 0.25 millimeters each). As one of the buckets fills with water, its weight eventually tips the levering mechanism down, allowing the bucket to empty itself. When this occurs, an electrical impulse is triggered by the gauge's internal electronic circuitry and transmitted by radio signal to a receiving/display unit, while the bucket on the opposite side of the lever pivots into place to take the next reading.

The measurements deliver a deeper understanding of a particular region’s weather conditions and, more importantly, the gauge offers important data about the local environment as a whole. Rain gauges are extremely beneficial for the purposes of local drought monitoring, they help homeowners and horticulturists improve the health and sustainability of their gardens, they assist farmers in assessing their ability to grow certain kinds of crops, and they provide researchers with a method for studying both current and past weather patterns in order to determine environmental trends.

Accuracy is a major benefit to the wireless rain gauge. Manual measurements not only leave room for error, but they're also more time consuming to take. By contrast, the wireless unit automatically takes precipitation readings at regular intervals and with greater precision, thanks to its internal components. Wireless data transmission (triggered by a self-emptying water bucket) essentially eliminates the need to wait until the rain stops in order to get measurements in the first place. Instead, real-time rainfall data may be obtained from the comfort of your own couch. Finally, wireless rain gauges are generally low-maintenance devices, only requiring occasional battery changes and checks for jams.

Recording Rainfall Without Fanfare

Accuracy is an important consideration to make when investing in a good wireless rain gauge, especially when detailed rainfall data is important to your livelihood as a farmer, researcher, meteorologist, or simply as a consumer in need of greater insight into your local precipitation patterns.

One capable of self-emptying its collected water will also help to improve accuracy.

Definitely go for a rain gauge with the ability to both store and display statistics over extended periods of time. One capable of self-emptying its collected water will also help to improve accuracy. Many of the options on our list function as all-in-one weather stations paired with easy-to-read LCD consoles that show you the date, time, and even the external temperature among other metrics. These consoles often come with their own built-in stands for tabletop use indoors or they can be mounted on the wall if your interior space is limited.

If you live in areas prone to flooding and other extreme weather events, consider an option with built-in flood warnings or rainfall alarms. While the flood warning is self-explanatory, the rainfall alarm is not as redundant as you might think. For example, if you utilize a simple irrigation system to water your plants, and the gauge's internal sensors detect a certain amount of rainfall in a given time period, the device can be programmed to alert you once its collection data has reached a predetermined threshold, allowing you to turn off your own water sources and save money in the long run.

A Brief History Of Wireless Rain Gauges

Rain gauges have a relatively rich history, with the earliest known records of rainfall data instituted by the ancient Greeks as early as 500 B.C.E. Ancient Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures also employed rain gauges to aid in determining ideal planting schedules.

Subsequently, English mathematician Richard Towneley was the first to take extended rainfall measurements over a period of 15 years.

Beginning around 1200 C.E., the use and popularity of rudimentary rain gauges spread throughout the Asian continent. The amount of recorded rainfall in various Chinese cities, for example, was used to estimate the total for the entire country.

English mathematician and physicist Sir Christopher Wren, in collaboration with naturalist philosopher Robert Hooke, developed one of the first tipping-bucket rain gauges in 1662. Similar in design to modern rain gauges, Hooke and Wren's device had a funnel-shaped top that channeled water into a collection basin. Subsequently, English mathematician Richard Towneley was the first to take extended rainfall measurements over a period of 15 years.

Today's digital rain gauges are fundamentally based on the working principles of Wren and Hooke's tipping-bucket design with the addition of LCD screens and wireless data transmission that can reach a distance of up to 300 feet, making them convenient, useful, and safe tools for a variety of precipitation studies.

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Sheila O'Neill
Last updated on August 28, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer and editor living in sunny Southern California. She studied writing and film at State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. After graduating, she worked as an assistant video editor at a small film company, then spent a few years doing freelance work, both as a writer and a video editor. During that time, she wrote screenplays and articles, and edited everything from short films to infomercials. An ardent lover of the English language, she can often be found listening to podcasts about etymology and correcting her friends’ grammar.


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