The development and assessment of techniques for daily rainfall disaggregation in South Africa.
The temporal distribution of rainfall , viz. the distribution of rainfall intensity during a storm, is an important factor affecting the timing and magnitude of peak flow from a catchment and hence the flood-generating potential of rainfall events. It is also one of the primary inputs into hydrological models used for hydraulic design purposes. The use of short duration rainfall data inherently accounts for the temporal distribution of rainfall, however, there is a relative paucity of short duration data when compared to the more abundantly available daily data. One method of overcoming this is to disaggregate courser-scale data to a finer resolution, e.g. daily to hourly. A daily to hourly rainfall disaggregation model developed by Boughton (2000b) in Australia has been modified and applied in South Africa. The primary part of the model is the . distribution of R, which is the fraction of the daily total that occurs in the hour of maximum rainfall. A random number is used to sample from the distribution of R at the site of interest. The sample value of R determines the other 23 values, which then undergo a clustering procedure. This clustered sequence is then arranged into 1 of 24 possible temporal arrangements, depending when the hour the maximum rainfall occurs. The structure of the model allows for the production of 480 different temporal distributions with variation between uniform and non-uniform rainfall. The model was then regionalised to allow for application at sites where daily rainfall data, but no short duration data, were available. The model was evaluated at 15 different locations in differing climatic regions in South Africa. At each location, observed hourly rainfall data were aggregated to yield 24-hour values and these were then disaggregated using the methodology. Results show that the model is able to retain the daily total and most of the characteristics of the hourly rainfall at the site, for when both at-site and regional information are used. The model, however, is less capable of simulating statistics related to the sequencing of hourly rainfalls, e.g. autocorrelations. The model also tends to over-estimate design rainfalls, particularly for the shorter durations .
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