Skip to Content

Weather Insider: Measuring rainfall

Spencer Blum

There are thousands of weather stations across every corner of the country recording values such as temperature, pressure, moisture, and of course, precipitation. But how do meteorologists measure rain so that an inch of rain in Palm Springs is the same as an inch of rain in Miami, New York, Chicago, or anywhere else around the world? We use rain gauges, like the one seen below, which are standardized.

If a specific station measures an inch of rain, for example, that is meant to be representative of that area. So, what would an inch of rain look like over a city? Let's use Palm Desert as an example. Palm Desert is about 27 square miles. If one inch of rain fell over this whole area, it would be just under 470 million gallons of water! That's enough to fill more than 700 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

If you want to do your own calculations about rainfall totals, you can do so HERE.

Article Topic Follows: First Alert Weather Insider

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Spencer Blum

Spencer Blum joined KESQ News Channel 3 in 2023 as a member of the First Alert Weather Team.


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content