Spatial and Temporal Precipitation Characteristics in Southwest Idaho

by Clayton L. Hanson, USDA, Boise, United States,
Gregory L. Johnson, USDA, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The USDA-ARS, Northwest Watershed Research Center operates a precipitation gage network on the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in southwest Idaho. Analysis of the 30-yr (1962-1991) record from this watershed showed that the average annual precipitation ranged from 230 mm on the low elevation (1150 m) areas of the watershed to 1110 mm on the high elevation (2160 m) areas. Maximum average monthly precipitation was about the same for November, December, January, May and June at the lowest elevation sites and for November, December and January at the high elevation sites. There was a good linear relationship between elevation and mean annual or seasonal precipitation for the gage sites used in the study. This paper also discusses depth-duration-frequency and other precipitation characteristics that are affected by elevation and location on the watershed. The information found in this study shows that engineers and hydrologists need to do an in-depth evaluation of climatic conditions at project sites because generalized maps may not represent local conditions.

Subject Headings: Precipitation | Watersheds | Rivers and streams | Linear functions | Seasonal variations | Climates | Project management | Site investigation | Idaho | United States

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