SEPA work in partnership with the Met Office to oversee a network of volunteer rainfall observers spread across Scotland. In March 2016 the observers numbered 136. These volunteer rainfall observers contribute to the national rainfall network, the aim of which is to provide a sufficient coverage of ‘spot’ measurements to accurately capture the distribution of rainfall across Scotland.
The existing model for rainfall observers is very long established and for example, a few current observers have been observing since the 1960’s and another observer in Ayrshire is continuing a family tradition of rainfall observing that started in 1898. The rainfall archive is used by government bodies, industry and researchers for a number of functions such as managing Scotland’s water resource, planning sustainable economic development, climate research and developing measures for flood management. The Met Office produces products such as rainfall distributions maps (opposite) that aid the evaluation of data. Rainfall distribution maps can be found on the Met Office website.