e-RA: the electronic Rothamsted Archive

Rothamsted Meteorological Open Access Data

Mean monthly rainfall at Rothamsted October 1985 - September 2017

Download the Data

This dataset is presented as a downloadable Excel Spreadsheet:


Publication Date

Publication date V1. 2020/03/11

Access Use and Conditions

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

YOU MUST CITE AS: Rothamsted Research (2020). Rothamsted mean monthly rainfall October 1985 - September 2017. Electronic Rothamsted Archive https://doi.org/10.23637/rmsMMRain10850917

Rothamsted relies on the integrity of users to ensure that Rothamsted Research receives suitable acknowledgement as being the originators of these data. This enables us to monitor the use of each dataset and to demonstrate their value. Please send us a link to any publication that uses this Rothamsted data.


This dataset represents the mean monthly rainfall recorded at Rothamsted from October 1986 - September 2018 and is derived from continuous daily records measured at the site.


This dataset was compiled for the publication J. Macholdt, H.-P. Piepho, B. Honermeier, S. Perryman, A. Macdonald and P. Poulton. The effects of cropping sequence, fertilisation and straw management on the yield stability of winter wheat (1986-2017) in the Broadbalk Wheat Experiment, Rothamsted, UK. (2020). Journal of Agricultural Science.

This publication also includes reference to the dataset Mean monthly temperature at Rothamsted October 1985 - September 2017.


Daily rainfall is measured as the total (mm) over the 24-hour period 0900 to 0900 GMT. It includes all precipitation - snow, rain, mist and fog. Rainfall was first recorded at Rothamsted in March 1853, using a copper funnel rain gauge (5 inch / 12.7 cm diameter) and measured using a graduated cylinder. Since 2004 it has been measured using an electronic tipping bucket rain gauge (10 inch / 25.4cm diameter), ARG100, calibrated to tip at 0.2mm (which has since become the minimum amount of rain that can be recorded). The rain gauge is placed within a 30cm deep 1.5m radius turf wall, retained by brick, to reduce wind eddies that may potentially blow rain out of the gauges. Data were collected daily manually until 2004 and since then by Automatic Weather Station using a standard protocol. There are differences in the capture rate between the two gauges, see Rainfall for further information.


Rothamsted Meteorological Station, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England 51.82 N 0.37 W 128 m asl.

Provenance & Quality

The monthly summary data contained in this spreadsheet are derived from daily data measured at Rothamsted Meteorological Station, Harpenden. Total monthly data is determined from daily data using Genstat 19th Edition. Verification includes checks for instrument errors, for missing data and outliers. Missing values are acquired form the UK Met Office Station on site. The original raw daily data is available, after registering, from the e-RA database. Please contact the e-RA Curators for an access password and further details.

Supporting Information

RMMRAIN8517-sup-v1.xlsx: Rothamsted rain updates and errors.


Meteorological station
Weather data
Rainfall patterns

Climate change


Sarah Perryman, Margaret Glendining, Tony Scott, Chris Hall.


Rothamsted Research.

Further Information and contact details

For further information about the measurement of rain and precipitation at Rothamsted see Rainfall.

Please contact the e-RA Curators for further information, and assistance with questions about the data or its interpretation:

e-RA Curators,
Department of Computational and Analytical Sciences (CAS)
Rothamsted Research
Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ

email: era@rothamsted.ac.uk


The Long-term Experiments and weather stations are supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust and BBSRC National Capability Funding (BBS/E/C/000J0300) recognising the national and international importance of the data.

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