Estimating Watershed Runoff fro Lightning Data?A Case History

by Tim J. Ward, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
Kenny A. Stevens, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
Susan M. Bolton, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


A major problem in the application of hydrologic models to ungaged watersheds is the lack of necessary rainfall data. In most cases watersheds gaged for streamflow have no or only one precipitation (rainfall) gage in or nearby the watersheds. A promising technique for estimating rainfall is through use of lighting strike information. Such information must be transformed into rainfall depth and intensity to be effectively used in a hydrologic model. This paper examines the utility and problems encountered in application of lightning information to hydrologic modeling. The applications resulted in limited success, but more effort should be directed at obtaining a better transformation of lightning data to rainfall depth and duration.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Rain water | Watersheds | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Rainfall duration | Runoff | Hydrologic data

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