Characterizing the variability of rainfall and runoff for stormwater prediction

Baxter E. Vieux and Jean E. Vieux


Urban and regional hydrologic analysis, prediction, and drainage design are increasingly based on radar rainfall, distributed hydrologic models, and advanced information technology. Technological innovation is creating unprecedented opportunities to apply information technology, gain new data from advanced sensor systems, and develop more effective urban infrastructure and make hydrologic forecasts in real-time. With statistical quality control, radar-based precipitation estimates can serve as an input to physics-based distributed runoff models, such as Vflo™ for distributed stormwater prediction. With accurate input characterizing storm events, calibrated models support design and management of stormwater and urban drainage infrastructure. Successful prediction of stormwater response can be achieved by accurate spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall. The RainVieux operational system combines radars and telemetered rain gauge observations for ingest to the hydrologic model Vflo™. The combined system of radar rainfall monitoring and distributed hydrologic modeling has the potential to reduce public exposure to flood hazards in urbanized areas. The system capabilities for rainfall and runoff monitoring will be described for continuous and storm event analysis. Sample application and a case study will be presented, which demonstrates the system characteristics, accuracy and statistical control for rainfall-runoff hydrologic forecasting.

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