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# Analysis of Precipitation

Data
Analysis of Temporal Distribution of
Rainstorm Event
- Only feasible for data obtained from recording gauges.

## - Rainfall Mass Curve : A plot showing the cumulative rainfall

depth over the storm duration

Time
- Rainfall Hyetogragh : A plot of rainfall depth or
intensity with respect to time

## - Instantaneous Rainfall Intensity,

(slope of the mass curve) Time
dP(t)
i(t) 
dt
P P(t  t )  P(t )
- Average Intensity in (t, t + t) is it  
t t
Rainfall Mass
Curve &
Hyetograph
Autographic Chart
Clock-Time vs. Rolling-Time Max Rainfall

## Time 15-min 5-min

Rainfall (mm) Rainfall (mm)
3:45
3:50 9.0
3:55 12.5
4:00 35.0 13.5
4:05 17.0
4:10 14.5
4:15 37.5 6.0
4:20 5.0
4:25 5.0
4:30 14.5 4.5

##  Clock-time 15-min maximum rainfall depth = 37.5 mm

 Rolling-time 15-min maximum rainfall depth = 45.0mm
Point Data Analysis
Point precipitation data refers to precipitation
of a station. This data could be in form of
hourly record, daily record, monthly
precipitation or annual precipitation.
Depending upon the nature of catchment and
its area, there could be as many gauging
stations as feasible.
 Before using rainfall data, it is necessary to check the
data for continuing and consistency
 Missing data
 Record errors
Estimation of Missing Precipitation Record
Some precipitation stations may have short
breaks in the records because of absence of
the observer or because of instrumental
failures. In the procedure used by the U. S.
Weather Bureau, the missing precipitation
of a station is estimated from the
observations of precipitations at some other
stations as close to and as evenly spaced
around the station with the missing record
as possible.
Estimation of Missing Precipitation Record
 Methods for estimating missing data
1. Arithmetic Mean Method
2. Normal Ratio Method
 The station whose data is missing is called
interpolation station and gauging stations whose
data are used to calculate the missing station data are
called index stations.
 If the normal annual precipitation (mean of 30
years of annual precipitation) of the index stations
lies within ±10% of normal annual precipitation of
interpolation station then we apply arithmetic mean
method to determine the missing precipitation record
otherwise the normal ratio method is used for this
purpose.
Estimation of Missing Precipitation Record
Consider that record is missing from a station ‘X’.
Now let,
N = Normal annual precipitation
P = Storm Precipitation
Let Px be the missing precipitation for station ‘X’
and ‘Nx , the normal annual precipitation of this
station, Na , Nb , and Nc are normal annual
precipitation of nearby three stations, A, B and C
respectively while Pa , Pb and Pc are the storm
precipitation of that period for these stations.
Estimation of Missing Precipitation Record
Now we have to compare Nx with Na , Nb and
Nc separately. If difference of Nx - Na , Nx –
Nb , and Nx – Nc is within ±10% of Nx , then
we use simple arithmetic means method
otherwise the normal ratio method is used.
Simple Arithmetic Mean Method
• Select rain gauge index stations (e.g. 1, 2
& 3) as close to and as evenly spaced
around the station with the missing
record (i.e. Station X)
 Collection of rainfall data for these
stations on the day for which data at
station X is missing
 Normal annual rainfall at all these
stations should also be collected.
Simple Arithmetic Mean Method
According to the arithmetic mean method the
missing precipitation ‘Px’ is given as:

## In case of three stations 1, 2 and 3,

P1  P2  P3
Px 
3
Normal Ratio Method
 If average annual rainfall at each of these three
index stations differs more than 10% of average
annual rainfall of station X, then normal ratio
method is applicable.
1 N N N 
Px   P1 x  P2 x  P3 x 
3  N1 N2 N3 

##  Where P1, P2, P3 & Px represent respective

rainfall data at stations 1, 2, 3, and X respectively
of the day for which data is missing at station X,
and N1, N2, N3 & Nx represent their respective
normal annual rainfalls.
Example
Example 3.2
Find out the missing storm precipitation of station ‘C’
given in the following table:
Station A B C D E
Storm precipitation (cm) 9.7 8.3 --- 11.7 8.0
Normal Annual precipitation (cm) 100.3 109.5 93.5 125.7 117.5

Solution:
10% of Nc = 93.5 x 10/100 = 9.35
±10% Range of Nc= 84.15 to 102.85 (Values of Nb , Nd and Ne
are out of this range, hence normal mean method
applicable)
1  Nx Nx Nx Nx 

Px   P1  P2  P3  P4 
4  N1 N2 N3 N4 

## Pc = (1/4) (9.7 x 93.5/100.3 + 8.3 x 93.5/109.5 +

11.7 x 93.5/125.7 + 8.0 x 93.5/117.5) = 7.8 cm.
Example
Example 3.3:
Precipitation station “X” was inoperative for part of a
month during which a storm occurred. The storm
totals at three surrounding stations A, B and C were
respectively 10.7, 8.9 and 12.2 cm. The normal annual
precipitation amounts at stations X, A, B and C are
respectively 97.8, 112, 93.5 and 119.9 cm. Estimate the
storm precipitation for station “X”.
Example
Solution:
Pa = 10.7 cm Na = 112 cm
Pb = 8.90 cm Nb = 93.5 cm
Pc = 12.2 cm Nc = 119.9 cm
Px = ? Nx = 97.8 cm
10% of Nx = 97.8 x 10/100 = 9.78 cm
Nx – Na = 97.8 – 112 = -14.2 cm (more than +10% of Nx,
therefore no need to calculate Nx – Nb and Nx – Nc )
So we will use Normal Ratio Method.
Px = (1/3) (10.7 x 97.8/112 + 8.90 x 97.8/93.5 + 12.2 x
97.8/119.9) = 9.5 cm.
Consistency of Precipitation Data or
Double Mass Analysis
Some of the common causes for inconsistency of
record are:
(i) shifting of a rain gauge station to a new
location,
(ii) the neighborhoods of the station undergoing
a marked change,
(iii) change in the ecosystem due to calamities,
such as forest fires, land slides, and
(iv) occurrence of observational error from a
certain date
18
Test for Consistency of Record
ΣP in
Accumulated Annual Rainfall at x

Mc
units of 103 cm

Pcx  Px
Ma

## Accumulated Annual Rainfall of 10 station Mean

ΣP in units of l03 cm 19
Double-mass curve technique
 The checking for inconsistency of a
record is done by the double-mass
curve technique. This technique is
based on the principle that when each
recorded data comes from the same
parent population, they are consistent.
Areal Precipitation Data Analysis
Estimation of Average Precipitation Over a
Basin
 Rain gauges rainfall represent only point sampling
of the areal distribution of a storm
 The important rainfall for hydrological analysis is a
rainfall over an area, such as over the catchment
 To convert the point rainfall values at various
stations to in to average value over a catchment, the
following methods are used:
 Arithmetic Mean Method
 Thiessen Polygon Method
 Isohyetal method
Arithmetic Mean Method

## • When the area is physically and climatically

homogenous and the required accuracy is small, the
average rainfall ( P ) for a basin can be obtained as
the arithmetic mean of the hi values recorded at
various stations.
• Applicable rarely for practical purpose

P1  P2  .....  Pi  .....Pn 1 N
P 
N
 
N i 1
Pi
Example
Example 3.5:
Six rain gauges were installed in a relatively flat
area and storm precipitation from these gauges
was recorded as 3.7, 4.9, 6.8, 11.4, 7.6 and 12.7 cm
respectively from gauges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Find
average precipitation over the catchment.

Solution:
P (average) = (3.7 + 4.9 + 6.8 + 11.4 + 7.6 + 12.7)/6
= 7.85 cm.
Thiessen Polygon Method

## • The method of Thiessen polygons consists of

attributing to each station an influence zone in
which it is considered that the rainfall is equivalent
to that of the station.
• The influence zones are represented by convex
polygons.
• These polygons are obtained using the mediators of
the segments which link each station to the closest
neighboring stations
Thiessen polygons ……….
Thiessen polygons ……….

P7
P6

A7
A6
P2

A2
A1
A8 A5
P1
P8 P5
A3 A4
P3

P4
Thiessen polygons ……….

P1 A1  P2 A2  .....  Pm Am
P 
 A1  A2  .....  Am 
Generally for M station
M

PA i i M
Ai
P  i 1
Atotal
 
i 1
Pi
A

Ai
The ratio is called the weightage factor of station i
A
Example
EXAMPLE 3.6
Following is shown map of a catchment
having 6 rainfall recording stations Fig. 3.6.
Find the Average Precipitation over the whole catchment.
The recorded precipitations are shown on the topographic
map of the catchment. The Thiessen’s Polygons are
constructed by the method explained above. The
precipitation and polygon area are given below.
Table 3.3 Average Precipitation by Thiessen Polygon Method

## Station Precipitation P Polygon Area A PxA

(mm) (km²) (x106 m³)

## Total 16,941.60 666.02

Isohyetal Method
The most accurate method of averaging
precipitation over an area is the isohyetal
method.

## For estimation of average precipitation of

the catchment by isohyetal method the
following steps are used:
o Draw the map of the area according to a certain scale.
o Locate the points on map where precipitation measuring gauges are installed.
o Write the amount of precipitation for stations.
o Draw isohyets (Lines joining points of equal precipitation).
o Measure area enclosed between every two isohyets or the area enclosed by an
isohyet and boundary of the catchment.
o Find average precipitation by the formula.
P (average) = (P1 A1 + P2 A2 + ...........+ Pn An)/A
Where,
P1= Mean precipitation of two isohyets 1 and 2
A1= Area between these two isohyets.
P2 = Mean precipitation of two isohyets 2 and 3
A2 = the area b/w these two isohyets.
and, so on
Pn = Mean precipitation of isohyets n-1 and n
An = the area between these two isohyets.

It may be noted that the last and first areas mentioned above may be between an
isohyet and boundary of the catchment. In this case the precipitation at the
boundary line is required which may be extrapolated or interpolated.
Isohyetal Method
• An isohyet is a line joining points of equal rainfall
magnitude. 10.0
8

D
6 C a5
12
9.2
12
a4
7.0 a3
4 B
7.2
A
a2 E 10.0
9.1
4.0 a1
F
8

6
4
Isohyetal Method

## • P1, P2, P3, …. , Pn – the values of the isohytes

• a1, a2, a3, …., a4 – are the inter isohytes area respectively
• A – the total catchment area
• P - the mean precipitation over the catchment

 P1  P2   P2  P3   Pn1  Pn 
a1    a2    ...  an1  
P   2   2   2 
A
NOTE

## The isohyet method is superior to the other two methods

especially when the stations are large in number.
Isohyetal Method

 P1  P2   P2  P3   Pn 1  Pn 
a1    a2    .....  an1  
P  2   2   2 
A
35
Average / Mean Annual Rainfall
 It is simply, the average of total rainfall of
several consecutive years.
 Greater the number of years considered, more
correct will be the mean value so obtained.
 After studying rainfall records of a large number
of different places extending over many years, it
has been found that 35 years rainfall records are
required for a reliable estimate of mean annual
rainfall of any place.
Average / Mean Annual Rainfall
 Sir Alexander Binnie has shown that if available
record period is less than 35 years then there
will be error in the computed mean annual
rainfall given below:
Period (Yrs) % Error in Mean Rainfall
5 14.9
10 8.2
15 4.8
20 3.3
25 2.8
30 2.3
35 1.8