Our rain gauge is in the farthest corner of the garden in a very open spot so we get a true reading on how much rain falls. But it's a bit of a trek through the wet garden if I want to know the results the minute the rain stops.
If I'm curious but not ready to step outdoors I have an informal measurement that I do from indoors. I look at the furniture on the deck to see if the vertical edge of the table and the backs of all the chairs are wet or if only the tops of things are wet. Then I look at the huge old Honey Locust tree that abuts the deck to see if there is any visible moisture on the side of the tree facing the house. If rain has made it through the leaf canopy and down onto the back of the tree then I know we had a real storm — like the one that woke us up at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning with an incredible thunder crash followed instantly by an immense downpour.
We got .84" of rain in about 4 and 1/2 hours yesterday morning. During the evening I could hear it raining lightly and this morning the gauge had .22" so we had just over an inch of rain. Coupled with last week's 2 inches of rain and the hot weather that's returned, I'm afraid it means that the mosquitoes will be back again, too. Ugh, just when it was safe to get outdoors and work again.