Regionalization of the Modified Bartlett-Lewis Rectangular Pulse Stochastic Rainfall Model

Abstract

Parameters of the Modified Bartlett-Lewis Rectangular Pulse (MBLRP) stochastic rainfall simulation model were regionalized across the contiguous United States. Three thousand four hundred forty-four National Climate Data Center (NCDC) rain gauges were used to obtain spatial and seasonal patterns of the model parameters. The MBLRP model was calibrated to minimize the discrepancy between the precipitation depth statistics between the observed and MBLRP-generated precipitation time series. These statistics included the mean, variance, probability of zero rainfall and autocorrelation at 1-, 3-, 12- and 24-hour accumulation intervals. The Ordinary Kriging interpolation technique was used to generate maps of the six MBLRP model parameters for each of the 12 months of the year. All parameters had clear to discernible regional tendencies; except for one related to rain cell duration distribution. Parameter seasonality was not obvious and it was more apparent in some locations than in others, depending on the seasonality of the rainfall statistics. Cross-validation was used to assess the validity of the parameter maps. The results indicate that the suggested maps reproduce well the observed rainfall statistics for different accumulation intervals, except for the lag-1 autocorrelation coefficient. The boundaries of the expected residual, with 95% confidence, between the observed rainfall statistics and the simulated rainfall statistics based on the map parameters were approximately ±0.064 mm hr-1, ±1.63 mm2 hr-2, ±0.16, and ±0.030 for the mean, variance, lag-1 autocorrelation and probability of zero rainfall at hourly accumulation levels, respectively. The estimated parameter values were also used to estimate the storm and rain cell characteristics.

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