Rain gauges measure your accumulated level of precipitation. Many, even the economical versions, meet National Weather Service (NWS) specifications for statistical accuracy. To get your best measurements, place your rain gauge where it can capture drops as they fall freely without bouncing into other objects. Professionals recommend placing the gauge up to five feet above the ground. Keep in mind that weather events with extreme winds, such as violent storms and hurricanes, will not produce a reliable measurement on a rain gauge.