Weather n Climate

Measure Rainfall at Home

Monsoons are associated with mushy and wet days, loads of hot pakoras, jalebis, samosas, rainy day holidays and much more. But, apart from fun days, take advantage of-the season to do some serious research. Your results could perhaps rival that of the meteorological department! Want to take up the challenge? Read on to know what you can do.

At first, you will need to measure a whole month’s rainfall amount. How do you do that? Well, your school textbooks might have already listed the items, but then, here it is again.

Your needs are: –
One funnel – freely available in the market in bright and beautiful colours (standard size),
One collecting container in which you can fit the funnel. Your tomato sauce (glass) bottle will amply serve the purpose,
One calibrated cylindrical flask– (perhaps the measuring glass your mother uses to cook exotic dishes). Measurement is usually recorded in cms, so just check that the flask has cm markings, and,
A short length of sticky tape– one plain sheet of white paper, and finally one graph paper, besides the ubiquitous assortment of pencils, erasers and pens.

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Now to go about it?
On the plain white sheet devise a chart with the number of days in the month listed on top. Now with the theoretical part ready, let us attend to the practical end.
Place the funnel in the collecting container, taking care that no rainwater seeps into the container from out-side. Thus, seal the outer side of the funnel with the sticky tape. Now all set place the funnel rim 30 cm above the ground level at a safe place with suitable warnings issued to inquisitive hands. Collect the sample same time every day.
Measure it in your calibrated flask and mark an entry in your chart. Even if it does not rain for a period, do mark a no rain entry in your chart.

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Have you patiently waited till the end of the month?
Excellent! Now get down to plot your graph. On the ‘X’ axis mark the days of the month, while on the ‘Y’ axis mark the rainfall.

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How does your graph look?
Is it a continuous curve, or does your curve start and stop in fits! More often than not the latter would preside. In four weeks of study you may get a few days that receive no rain at all! The continuous curve will now appear broken. This is the break in monsoon and is intrinsic to the pulsating nature of the monsoon.

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Now, what are the things you can derive at the end of the month?
Firstly the total monthly rainfall, secondly the average daily rainfall and thirdly the nature of monsoon and its break periods. Get your friends across the globe to accompany you in this exercise and you will get a firsthand knowledge of differing climates of the world.

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