If you’re interested in collecting rainfall data you can get involved in a couple of ways
In addition to the automated rain gauges, SEPA also manages a network of volunteers who collect daily rainfall data. They are known as rainfall observers and play an important part in collecting rainfall data in Scotland.
We currently have 136 members of the public that volunteer as rainfall observers. Each day at 9am our volunteers measure and record the accumulated rainfall from their gauge. At the end of every month they submit their data to us for processing and entry into our databases and the Met Office national archive.
There is now a new rainfall data entry portal – Citizen science rainfall observers’ portal - that means anyone that is interested in collecting rainfall data can get involved even if they can’t meet the criteria that is required from our official rainfall observers.
The portal is available through Scotland’s Environment website and is open to any person, school or organisation that observes rainfall or who wants to start observing. Once registered you can start collecting and entering your data straight away.
Your data will be accessible to view or download through the portal and will automatically be sent to the Met Office WOW database for use in a number of real time applications, including helping SEPA in relation to flood risk management.
Check out our top tips for help getting started as a citizen science rainfall observer.
Our hydrologists use the data collected from the network of automated rain gauges to help make decisions about water resource management and flood forecasting.
The data also feeds into the Met Office’s national rainfall archive. This archive is used by government bodies, industry and researchers to inform weather and flood forecasting, long-term climate research and water resource management.
Please note if you are interested in becoming an official rainfall observers you will be provided with a rain gauge and further guidance on collecting data.