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Inaccurate R. M. Young 50202 / 50203 Syphon Precipitation Gauge readings

mesocyclone Oct 20, 2020 12:22 PM


Does anyone have any experience using the RM Young 50202 syphon precipitation gauge?  We are field testing a few units purchased from Campbell Scientific for several months, but our results have thus far have been abysmal.

The gauge claims an accuracy of +/- 1 mm on the manufacturer's datasheet [does not state if it is with respect to the entire collection capacity of 50mm or .... ? ].  However, we don't get anywhere near that compared to our co-located standard rain gauge readings.

Our tests show this model under-reports precipitation events on the order of -7% to -20% per precipitation event.  This make the gauge unusable.

Does anyone have any thoughts, comments, suggestions, experience with this gauge?


JDavis Oct 21, 2020 09:36 AM

Are you using a wind screen?

That gauge has a bigger cross section, so wind errors could be more than on a smaller rain gage. 

mesocyclone Oct 21, 2020 03:13 PM

No, we are not using any wind screen / alter shield for the gauge.

The manufacturer has not indicated that it is required in the documentation and photos of the gauge installation do not show any sheild.

Also, please note this gauge has a catchment diameter of only 113 mm (4.4 in) / catchment area of 100 cm2 (15.5 in2) which is narrower compared to many other gauges

This gauge has inferior performance to other, cheaper (e.g. low end tipping bucket) gauges we have tested concurrently - and those do not have a sheild installed either.

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