Rain gauges measure storm intensity in real time

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Each time rain enters the forecast, emergency officials in Santa Barbara County worry about mudslides. The biggest questions are: how much rain will we get and how intense will that rain be? According to the US Geological Survey, one half an inch of rain per hour is enough to trigger debris flows on freshly burned mountainsides. Rain gauges help collect information on the amount of intensity of rainfall. Six new gauges were installed after the mudslide hit Montecito on January 9. Three of them are out on the Channel Islands, tracking storms that enter from the Pacific Ocean.


Newly installed rain gauges on Santa Rosa Island and atop Romero Canyon. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.


Newly installed rain gauges on Santa Rosa Island and atop Romero Canyon. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.


The top of the rain gauge collects the rain and filters it down to collect data. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.

Credits

Guest:
Jon Frye - Engineer at the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District

Host:
Jonathan Bastian

Producer:
Kathryn Barnes