Chilbolton drop-counting raingauge data

Robin Hogan
Elizabeth Brand
12 March 2001


A number of raingauges operate routinely at Chilbolton, England (51.1445°N, 1.4370°W). The dataset described here is from a drop-counting raingauge on the Chilbolton 500 m Test Range. This model has a 150 cm2 collector, and the data have been averaged over 30 s. Because it operates by releasing the collected rainwater as drops of a constant size, which it then counts, the data are quantised according to the size of the drops; in a 30-s period the rain rate is quantised to multiples of 0.48 mm hr-1. Because of the need to take instruments offline for maintenance, the data are not all from exactly the same raingauge, although the raingauges used were all of the same type.

Data format

The data is provided as daily ASCII files containing a simple seven-line header which looks like this:

Rainfall Rate Data for the roof mounted Drop Counting Gauge at Chilbolton
Data integration time is 30 seconds
Date = 20000322

    sec      mm/hr
followed by two columns containing the seconds since midnight UTC and the rain rate in mm hr-1. The recorded times indicate the end of each sample period.

Conditions of use

If Chilbolton raingauge data is used in any publication or report then acknowledgement must be given to the Radiocommunications Research Unit at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for providing the data.

Who to contact

If you have problems obtaining the data, please contact the British Atmospheric Data Centre. If you have problems, queries or comments regarding the data themselves, please contact