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Publication Abstract

Rainfall Relations on Small Areas in Illinois Huff, Floyd A., and James C. Neill, 1957  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-44    Full Text Available

During the period 1948-55, the State Water Survey Meteorology Subdivision operated several concentrated rain gage networks on small areas to collect detailed precipitation data which can further our knowledge of the water resources of Illinois. The collected data have been used in a number of studies to obtain information on precipitation pertinent to hydrologic analysis, design, and planning. This bulletin presents current results of several of these studies. Some of the studies are of a continuing nature and as additional data become available, refinements will be published. However, it is felt that adequate analysis has now been completed to present results that may be beneficial to hydrologists and engineers actively engaged in the field of water resources.

Although these studies are based on Illinois data, the results should be approximately representative of conditions in the Midwest and of other areas having similar climate and topography. The studies to date have been concentrated on the analysis of rainfall during the spring to fall thunderstorm season on relatively small areas ranging from less than one square mile to 400 square miles. The extreme variability in precipitation experienced during the thunderstorm season creates difficult problems for the hydrologist concerned with small watersheds, which are subject to flash floods and rapidly affected by drought conditions. The major portion of the surface-water supplies for municipalities in the state are obtained from lakes having watershed areas under 400 square miles.

Included in this bulletin are results of studies on: the relative variability of storm and monthly rainfall over small areas: the distribution of point and areal mean rainfall rates in shower-type precipitation; area-depth relations on small watersheds; the variation of point rainfall with distance; the areal representativeness of point rainfall in measuring areal mean rainfall on a storm, weekly, and monthly basis; the combined effect of storm size, area, and number of rain gages on the accuracy of storm mean rainfall estimates; relations during periods of excessive rainfall over a 100- square mile basin; the relation between point and areal mean rainfall frequencies; and micro-meteorological variations in storm rainfall.

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