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Analysis of rainfall time structures on a scale of hours

Müller, Miloslav, Bližňák, Vojtěch, Kašpar, Marek
Atmospheric research 2018 v.211 pp. 38-51
hydrograph, rain, rain gauges, runoff, streams, time series analysis, Central European region
The paper is motivated by the enormous variability of short-term rainfall time structures which need to be discretized into several typical variants and explained from the viewpoint of rainfall types producing them. We present six variants of the time structure of 6-h rainfalls in Czechia, distinguished by a novel methodology for designing synthetic hyetographs. Reference 6-h rainfall episodes were extracted from radar-derived precipitation time series with a time resolution of 10 min, adjusted by daily data from rain gauges. The variants were distinguished by three indexes that quantify the precipitation concentration within time steps from one to six hours. The episodes with steady precipitation intensity during the entire episode are mainly stratiform or possibly mixed and frequently take much longer than six hours because of circulation patterns producing them; central and northeastern cyclonic types are most represented. All other variants of episodes frequently occur when a trough is situated above Central Europe. Episodes with steady intensity lasting about three hours are still mainly stratiform or mixed while two variants represented by “two-humped” hyetographs are usually mixed or convective. Two variants of most concentrated episodes are mainly convective or possibly mixed; they are characterized by enhanced frequency of southwestern and eastern cyclonic types. Future research on cluster frequencies among maximum precipitation episodes in various regions will enable the improvement of design hydrographs of small streams where runoff is basically influenced by the rainfall time structure.