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CE 110 Precipitation Cornelio Q. Dizon Institute of Civil Engineering University of the Philippines
CE 110
Precipitation
Cornelio Q. Dizon
Institute of Civil Engineering
University of the Philippines
Precipitation • The discharge of water out of the atmosphere, generally onto land or water
Precipitation
• The discharge of water out of the atmosphere, generally onto land
or water surface. It is used to designate the quantity of water that
is precipitated and is the primary input quantity to the hydrologic
cycle.
Any deposit, in liquid or solid form, that develops in a saturated
atmosphere (Relative Humidity equals 100 %) and falls to the
ground generally from clouds.
General principle of precipitation formation
• Warm moist air rises (warm air is lighter than cold air) by one of
three lifting mechanisms (convective, cylonic, or orographic)
• The moist air is cooled
• The relative humidity increases
• When the dew point temperature is reached, condensation
begins.
Forms of Precipitation 1. Drizzle - sometimes called mist - consists of tiny liquid water
Forms of Precipitation
1.
Drizzle
- sometimes called mist
- consists of tiny liquid water droplets
- diameters between 0.1 to 0.5 mm
- slow settling rates
- usually falls from low stratus and barely exceeds 1 mm/ hr
2.
Rain
- consists of liquid water drops mostly larger than 0.5 mm
- rainfall refers to amounts of liquid precipitation
Light - Rates of fall up to 2.5 mm/hr
Moderate- Rates of fall from 2.6 to 7.6 mm/hr
Heavy-
Rates of fall from > 7.6 mm/hr
3.
Glaze, Rime, Snow, Hail & Sleet- Precipitation in the form
of ice.
Formation of Precipitation 1. Condensation – Dynamic Cooling: Adiabatic reduction of temperature associated with
Formation of Precipitation
1. Condensation
– Dynamic Cooling: Adiabatic reduction of temperature
associated with upward movement of air.
– Cooling of moist air to a temperature below the saturation
point for water vapor.
– Mixing of air masses having different temperatures.
2. Coalescence
– Growth of droplets.
– Collisions: large drops run into smaller drops, large drops
decrease the drag on drops above.
Types of Precipitation 1. Convective Precipitation - due to intense heating of air at the
Types of Precipitation
1.
Convective Precipitation
- due to intense heating of air at the ground, which leads
to expansion and vertical rise of the air.
- common in tropical regions.
- usually appears as thunderstorms in temperate climates
during summer
- intensities can be very high locally but short duration
2. Cyclonic Precipitation (Frontal Precipitation) - associated with the movement of large air masses from
2. Cyclonic Precipitation (Frontal Precipitation)
- associated with the movement of large air masses from high
pressure region to low pressure region as in the case of warm or
cold fronts. A front is a boundary between two regions of air
that have different meteorological properties such as
temperature and humidity
Warm-front precipitation- formed in the warm air
advancing upward over a colder air mass.
- low intensity long duration
Cold-front precipitation- showery nature and is formed in the warm air forced upward by an
Cold-front precipitation- showery nature and is formed in the
warm air forced upward by an advancing mass of cold air.
- high intensity short duration
•When two air masses meet,
the front will slope diagonally,
as the colder, denser air mass
pushes under the warm air
mass.
3. Orographic Precipitation - due to mechanical lifting of moist air masses over mountain ranges.
3. Orographic Precipitation
- due to mechanical lifting of moist air masses over mountain
ranges.
- rainfall amounts are highest in the mountainous part of the
basin.
4. Cyclones, Tropical Depressions or Hurricanes - active depressions which gain energy while moving over
4. Cyclones, Tropical Depressions or Hurricanes
- active depressions which gain energy while moving over warm
ocean water and dissipate energy while moving overland.
- they may cause torrential rains and heavy storms.
- high intensity long duration.
Thunderstorms are characterized by cumulonimbus
clouds that can produce heavy rains, thunder, lightening,
and occasionally hail.
Hurricanes are intense forms of tropicalcyclones,
cyclonic storms that form over tropical oceans, between
5 o and 20 o latitude.
Measurement of Precipitation • Rainfall amounts are very important for river forecasting, since rainfall data
Measurement of Precipitation
• Rainfall amounts are very important for river forecasting, since
rainfall data are used to predict runoff and future stages.
• Wind is the most important factor in rain-gauge accuracy since it
greatly affects the catch of rainfall.
• To reduce the effects of wind, rain gauges can be provided with
windshields.
• Obstacles should be kept far from the rain gauge (distance at
least twice the height of such an object) and the height of the
gauge should be minimized.
Types of Precipitation Gages
All rainfall gauges are classified into storage gauges and recording
gauges. Storage gauges for daily rainfall measurement are observed
at a fixed time. Recording gauges may be equipped with charts that
have to be replaced every day, week or month, depending on the
clockwork.
1. Standard Rain Gage- storage type. - Consists of three parts, a funnel, a can,
1. Standard Rain Gage- storage type.
- Consists of three parts, a funnel, a can, and a measuring tube.
- Rain falls into the funnel then into the measuring tube.
- Since the funnel is wider than the measuring tube, the depth of
water in the measuring tube would be greater than if the tube was
as wide as the funnel. This allows rainfall to be measured to the
nearest 0.25 mm.
2. Weighing Gage- recording type.
- Consists of an antifreeze-filled collection bucket mounted on top
of a scale.
- As rain falls into the collecting bucket, the bucket becomes
heavier and every few minutes, a recorder attached to the scale
records the weight of the bucket contents.
-Since the size of the bucket, the weight of antifreeze, and the
density of water are known, a precipitation amount can be
measured from the weight of the bucket.
3. Tipping-bucket- recording type. - Consists of a funnel and a rocker mechanism with two
3. Tipping-bucket- recording type.
- Consists of a funnel and a rocker mechanism with two little
"buckets" on it, located underneath the funnel.
- The water caught in the collector is funneled into a two-
compartment bucket; 0.25 mm will fill one compartment and
overbalance the bucket so that it tips, emptying into a reservoir
and moving the second compartment into place beneath the
funnel.
- Simple but less accurate since it only records when the bucket is
full and some losses occur during tipping.
4. Float Type- Recording type.
- Rain is collected in a float chamber.
- The vertical movement of float is recorded by pen on a chart.
Standard Non-recording Rain Gages.
Standard Non-recording Rain Gages.
Standard Non-recording Rain Gages.
Standard Non-recording Rain Gages.
Non-recording and Recording Rain Gages.
Non-recording and Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket
Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket
Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket
Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket Recording Rain Gages.
Tipping-Bucket
Recording Rain Gages.
5. Radar and Satellite- recording type. - Can be used to measure rainfall particularly in
5. Radar and Satellite- recording type.
- Can be used to measure rainfall particularly in remote areas
where increased spatial or time resolution is required.
- Works on the basis of the reflection of an energy pulse
transmitted by the radar or remote sensing by satellite.
Mass Curve and Hyetograph
Rainfall is usually recorded by mass curve (cumulative rainfall vs.
time) from which hyetograph (plot of the rainfall/rainfall intensity with
time) is easily derived.
Example 1 Time Mass Curve Hyetograph (hr) (mm) (mm) 0 0 0 1 1 1
Example 1
Time
Mass Curve
Hyetograph
(hr)
(mm) (mm)
0
0
0
1
1
1
2
3
2
3
4
1
4
4
0
5
8
4
6
10
2
7
10
0
8
11
1
9
11
0
10
13
2
Mass Curve and Hyetograph
Time Mass Curve Hyetograph Mass Curve (hr) (mm) (mm) 14 0 0 0 1 1
Time
Mass Curve
Hyetograph
Mass Curve
(hr)
(mm)
(mm)
14
0
0
0
1
1
1
12
2
3
2
3
4
1
10
4
4
0
8
5
8
4
6
10
2
6
7
10
0
8
11
1
4
9 11
0
2
10 13
2
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Tim e (hrs)
Cumulative Rainfall vs. Time
Acc um Depth (mm)
Hyetograph Time Mass Curve Hyetograph 5 (hr) (mm) (mm) 0 0 0 1 1 1
Hyetograph
Time
Mass Curve
Hyetograph
5
(hr)
(mm)
(mm)
0
0
0
1
1
1
4
2
3
2
3
4
1
3
4
4
0
5
8
4
6
10
2
2
7
10
0
8 11
1
9 11
0
1
10 13
2
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Tim e (hrs)
Rainfall vs. Time
Ra infall (mm)
Example 2 - Problem 1.3 Problem 1.3 DATE & TIME ACCUMULATED DISCHARGE rainfall rainfall Occurance
Example 2 - Problem 1.3
Problem 1.3
DATE & TIME
ACCUMULATED
DISCHARGE
rainfall
rainfall
Occurance
RAINFALL
intensity
interval
5 min interval
inches
cfs
in
in/hr
interval
1605
0
0
1610
0
0
0
0
1605-1610
1615
0.1
0
0.1
1.2
1610-1615
1620
0.4
0.5
0.3
3.6
1615-1620
1625
0.6
5
0.2
2.4
1620-1625
1630
1.1
22
0.5
6
1625-1630
1635
1.4
60
0.3
3.6
1630-1635
1640
1.6
90
0.2
2.4
1635-1640
1645
1.8
102
0.2
2.4
1640-1645
1650
1.9
111
0.1
1.2
1645-1650
1655
2
119
0.1
1.2
1650-1655
1700
2.2
124
0.2
2.4
1655-1700
1705
2.3
130
0.1
1.2
1700-1705
1710
2.4
134
0.1
1.2
1705-1710
1715
2.5
137
0.1
1.2
1710-1715
1720
2.5
138
0
0
1715-1720
1725
2.6
137
0.1
1.2
1720-1725
1730
2.6
135
0
0
1725-1730
Problem 1.3 Hyetograph using Rainfall Mass Curve Hyetograph using Rainfall Intensity
Problem 1.3
Hyetograph using Rainfall
Mass Curve
Hyetograph using Rainfall Intensity
Example 3 - Incremental Rainfall 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 5
Example 3 - Incremental Rainfall
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95 100 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150
Time (min)
Incremental Rainfall (in p er 5 min)
Rainfall Depth and Intensity Running Totals Cumulative Time Incremental Rainfall (min) Rainfall (in) (in) 30
Rainfall Depth and Intensity
Running Totals
Cumulative
Time
Incremental
Rainfall
(min)
Rainfall (in)
(in)
30 min
1 h
2 h
0
0
5
0.02
0.02
10
0.34
0.36
15
0.1
0.46
20
0.04
0.5
25
0.19
0.69
30
0.48
1.17
1.17
35
0.5
1.67
1.65
55
0.31
3.15
2.46
60
0.66
3.81
2.64
3.81
115
0.15
8.04
1.82
4.89
120
0.09
8.13
1.4
4.32
8.13
150
0.01
8.41
0.28
1.68
7.24
Depth
0.76
3.07
5.56
8.2
Intensity
9.12364946
6.14
5.56
4.1
Cumulative Rainfall 10 9 8 7 6 5 3.07 in 4 8.2 in 30 min
Cumulative Rainfall
10
9
8
7
6
5
3.07 in
4
8.2 in
30 min
3
5.56 in
2
1 hr
1
2 hr
0
0
30
60
90
120
150
Time (min.)
Cumulative Rainfall (in.)
Important Rainfall Parameters • Intensity or rate of precipitation (depth of water per unit time,
Important Rainfall Parameters
• Intensity or rate of precipitation (depth of water per unit time, i.e.
mm/s, cm/min, in/hr, etc).
• Duration of precipitation (in seconds, minutes, hours or days).
• Depth of precipitation expressed as the thickness of a water layer on
the surface (in mm or inches)
• Area of the geographic extent of rainfall (in m2 or km2).
• Frequency of occurrence, usually expressed in return period (10-yr,
50-yr, 100-yr, etc)
Minimum Densities of Precipitation Networks
• 600 to 900 km 2 per station for flat regions of temperate,
Mediterranean, and tropical zones.
• 100 to 250 km 2 per station for mountainous regions of temperate,
Mediterranean, and tropical zones.
• 25 km 2 per station for small mountainous islands with irregular
precipitation.
• 1500 to 10,000 km 2 per station for arid and polar zones.
Station Consistency
Station Consistency
Estimating Missing Precipitation Data 1. If normal annual precipitation at each of the index stations
Estimating Missing Precipitation Data
1. If normal annual precipitation at each of the index stations is
within 10% of that for the station with the missing record, a
simple arithmetic average of the precipitation at the index
stations provides the estimated amount.
n
1
P
=
P
x
i
n
where,
P x = unknown precipitation at x
P i = precipitation at index station i
i=
1
2. If normal annual precipitation of any index stations differs from
that station in question by more than 10%, the normal-ratio
method is used.
where,
P x = unknown precipitation at station x
n
1
  N  
P =
x
P
P
i = precipitation at index station i
x
i
n
i = 1
N i 
N
x = known normal annual precipitation at x
N
i = known normal annual precip. at index station i
n
= number of index stations
3. Estimation of precipitation in space. Involves interpolation. The most popular is the reciprocal distance
3.
Estimation of precipitation in space.
Involves interpolation.
The most popular is the reciprocal distance or inverse distance
method.
n
(
e
)
P
d
i
i
where,
P x = unknown precipitation at x
i = 1
P
=
x
n
P i = precipitation at index station i
(
e
)
1
d
i
i = 1
d i = distance bet station x and index station
e = power (usually 2)
2
= x − x
(
)
2
d
+ y − y
(
)
2
i
i
x
i
x
i = 2
i = 3
d
1
x
i = 1
Prob No. 1: The rainfall station at UPLB was inoperative for the month of August
Prob No. 1: The rainfall station at UPLB was inoperative for the
month of August in which storm Juaning, occurred. The respective
storm totals at three surrounding stations, San Pedro, Ambulong,
and Sta. Cruz were 116.4, 130.4, 98.5 mm respectively. The
normal annual precipitation amounts at stations UPLB, San Pedro,
Ambulong, and Sta. Cruz are, 1895.0, 1564.7, 1916.3, and 1788.4
respectively. What is the estimated storm precipitation for UPLB
station?
Prob No. 2:
A missing rainfall data for the month of May is to be
estimated for UPLB rainfall station. Three surrounding stations, San
Pedro, Ambulong, and Sta. Cruz have 139.8, 128.3, and 115.7 mm
of rainfall for the month of May respectively. San Pedro is 32 km
away from UPLB, while Ambulong and Sta. Cruz are 24 and 22 km
away from it respectively. What is the estimated missing
precipitation for UPLB station using areal interpolation by inverse
distance method? (Use the power e = 2)
Areal Averaging of Precipitation 1. Station Average Method- if the gages are uniformly distributed and
Areal Averaging of Precipitation
1.
Station Average Method- if the gages are uniformly distributed and
individual variations are not far from the mean rainfall.
n
where,
1
P
=
P
P ave = basin precipitation depth average P i
ave
i
n
i
= 1
=
precipitation measured at gage i
Station
Observed Rainfall
n
= number of gages
mm
P2
20
P3
30
P4
40
P5
50
140
Ave. Rainfall = 140/4 = 35 mm
2. Thiessen Polygon Method- allows for areally weighting of rainfall from each gage. Unique for
2. Thiessen Polygon Method- allows for areally weighting of rainfall
from each gage. Unique for each gage network and does not allow
for orographic effects but is probably the most widely used.
n
where,
P A
i
i
P ave = basin precipitation depth average P i
i = 1
=
= precipitation measured at gage i
P ave
n
i = area represented by gage i
A A
i n
= number of gages
i = 1
Procedure:
1. Plot the stations on the map and triangulate or connect nearby pairs
of stations by straight lines which become sides of triangles.
2. Construct perpendicular bisectors of triangular sides which are
concurrent with respect to a triangle.
3. The concurrent perpendicular bisectors comprise the sides of the
Thiessen polygon.
4. The area of each polygon is determined by planimeter, digitizer or
GIS software and is expressed as a percentage of the total area.
Weighted average rainfall for the total are is computed by multiplying the precipitation at each
Weighted average rainfall for the total are is computed by
multiplying the precipitation at each station by its assigned
percentage of area and totaling.
Station Observed Area Weighted Rainfall Rainfall mm km 2 mm P1 10 0.22 2.2 P2
Station
Observed
Area
Weighted
Rainfall
Rainfall
mm
km 2
mm
P1
10
0.22
2.2
P2
20
4.02
80.4
P3
30
1.35
40.5
P4
40
1.60
64.0
P5
50
1.95
97.5
9.14
284.6
Ave. Rainfall = 284.6/9.14 = 31.1 mm
3. Isohyetal Method- is the most accurate method of averaging precipitation over an area. However,
3.
Isohyetal Method- is the most accurate method of averaging
precipitation over an area. However, an extensive gage network is
required to draw isohyets accurately.
where,
P ave = basin rainfall depth average
n
 P
+
i
i + 1
P   A
P i = precipitation on isohyte i
i
2
i = 1
P
=
A
i = area between isohytes i and i+1
ave
n
n
= number of isohyte intervals
A
i
i=1
Procedure:
1. Station locations and amounts are plotted on a suitable map.
2. Contours of equal precipitation (isohyets) are drawn.
3. The average precipitation for an area is computed by weighting the
average precipitation between successive isohyets (usually taken as
the average of the two isohyetal values) by the area between
isohyets, totaling these products, and dividing by the total area.
Isohyetal Method Isohyets Area Average Rainfall Rainfall Volume • km 2 mm mm 0.88 5
Isohyetal Method
Isohyets
Area
Average Rainfall
Rainfall Volume
km 2
mm
mm
0.88
5
4.4
10
1.59
15
23.9
20
2.24
25
56.0
30
3.01
35
105.4
40
1.22
45
54.9
50
0.20
53
10.6
9.14
255.2
Ave. Rainfall = 255.2/9.14 = 27.9 mm
Areal Precipitation Estimates Three Methods • Arithmetic Average – Gages must be uniformly distributed –
Areal Precipitation Estimates
Three Methods
• Arithmetic Average
– Gages must be uniformly distributed
– Individual variations must not be far from mean
rainfall
– Not accurate for large area where rainfall
distribution is variable
• Thiessen Polygon
– Areal weighting of rainfall from each gage
– Does not capture orographic effects
– Most widely used method
• Isohyetal
– Most accurate method
– Extensive gage network required
– Can include orographic effects and storm morphology