Our earliest rainfall records date from the 1860s and the values were generally produced on annual sheets until 1963 after which time monthly cards were used.
Measurements of rainfall amount often vary greatly from location to location because of the variable nature of rain producing weather systems and their interaction with high ground. For this reason a high density network of rain gauges is required to define accurately the rainfall climatology of the UK and to identify where flooding events are likely to occur as a result of local heavy storms. Consequently, in the archive, we have a great many rainfall cards usually consisting daily, weekly and monthly totals sourced from both professional and amateur stations throughout the UK.
Observers typically used a traditional 5 inch rain gauge which had a sharp brass or steel rim of diameter 5 inches (127 mm), sited 30 cm above ground level with a funnel that collects rain in a narrow necked bottle placed in a removable can.