Measuring Rain

Aristotle in is book Meteorologica, written in 340 BC, wrote about the different types of precipitation, yet, there was no mention of the actual measurement of rain or snow.    It would take well over another millennium before the concept of measuring rainfall would become an active practice.

The earliest known attempt to measure precipitation occurred inKoreaduring the reign of King Sejong who lived from 1397 to 1450.   King Sejong is credited with coming up with the idea of measuring rainfall in a standardize container.  This container was approximately 30 centimeters in depth and about 14 centimeters in diameter and stood on a pillar to measure the rainfall.  These containers were distributed to all the villages.  With this new knowledge of rainfall distribution, King Sejong could better estimate the potential harvest in each village and in turn, know how much the farmers should be taxed.

This first attempt to measure rainfall is credited to have occurred in the fourth month of 1441.

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