Instrument: Pluvio² Precipitation Gauge

The Pluvio2 is a weighing precipitation gauge manufactured by OTT HydroMet in Germany that measures the amount and intensity of precipitation by determining its weight. It uses a high-capacity collection bucket to capture liquid, solid, and mixed precipitation types, and measure the weight of the collected water as a function of time. The system consists of a base plate with the weighing mechanism, a bucket support, a collecting bucket, and pipe housing for the pedestal that supports the gauge. The weighing mechanism is a load cell sensor housed in an airtight seal that converts the force of the collection bucket into electrical signals that can be measured. The Pluvio2 comes in two models; one with a  200 cm2 opening and 750 mm capacity bucket and the other with a 400 cm2 opening and 1,500 mm capacity bucket (Figure 1). The standard installation height of the Pluvio2 is one meter above the ground where it can collect and provide measurements of rain, snow, hail, and sleet to ± 0.05 mm accuracy for precipitation amount and ± 0.1 mm/min accuracy for intensity. The Pluvio2 can operate with a 1 minute to 60 minute sampling interval, however, 1 minute is standard. 
The Pluvio2 determines the precipitation intensity by measuring the difference between the current bucket weight and the previous one. These values are then added to the accumulated precipitation total. To ensure the quality of the precipitation measurements, filter algorithms are used to reduce the effects of wind, temperature, and evaporation on measurement accuracy. There is also an integrated temperature sensor that adjusts the weighing mechanism for temperature changes. The accurate measurements and low maintenance of the Pluvio2 make it an ideal instrument for tasks such as estimating rainfall totals and monitoring road conditions.
Figure 1: The Pluvio2 precipitation gauge 200 cm2 model (left) and 400 cm2 model (right)
(Image source: Nemeth, 2008)

Measures the amount and intensity (rate) of precipitation including rain, snow, sleet, and hail. The Pluvio² has multiple methods in place to ensure accurate measurements. Filter algorithms are used to reduce the effects of wind, temperature, and evaporation on measurement accuracy. If there is an increase in intensity greater than what would occur for natural precipitation, the measurement is not reported as precipitation. 

Precipitation Studies
Flood Monitoring
Rainfall Estimation
Instrument Calibration

Amount: ± 0.05 mm

Intensity: ± 0.1 mm/min

200 cm2 and 400 cm2 Point

Amount: ± 0.01 mm

Intensity: ± 0.01 mm/min

1 minute to 60 minutes 750 mm/m2 and 1500 mm/m2 Per precipitation event


Relevant Publications

Nemeth, K. (2008). OTT Pluvio2: Weighing Precipitation Gauge and Advances in Precipitation Measurement Technology. BDM Meteorology OTT MESSTECHNIK GmbH & Co. KG Ludwigstr. 16, 87437. Kempten, Germany.

OTT HydroMet. (2019). Operating Instructions: OTT Pluvio2 precipitation gauge.

Tumbusch, M. L. (2003). Evaluation of OTT PLUVIO Precipitation Gage versus Belfort Universal Precipitation Gage 5-780 for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4167.

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