Dataset: Mean monthly rainfall at Rothamsted October 1985-September 2017


This dataset represents the mean monthly rainfall recorded at Rothamsted from October 1985 - September 2017 and is derived from continuous daily records measured at the site.


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.

Technical Information

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

Related Datasets


  • Sarah Perryman: Data manager
  • Tony Scott: Data collector
  • Chris Hall: Data collector
  • Margaret Glendining: Data manager
  • Nathalie Castells-Brooke: Project member
  • Richard Ostler: Project leader
  • Andrew Macdonald: Project manager

Dataset Access and Conditions

Rights Holder

Rothamsted Research


Creative Commons License This dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0).

Cite this Dataset

YOU MUST CITE AS: Sarah Perryman, Tony Scott, Chris Hall (2020). Dataset: Mean monthly rainfall at Rothamsted October 1985-September 2017 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

Please review our How to Credit Datasets guidance for more information.

Conditions of Use

Rothamsted relies on the integrity of users to ensure that datasets are used appropriately and Rothamsted Research receives suitable acknowledgment as being the originators of these data. Please review the Conditions of Use before downloading.

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.

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.

For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: