StormProperties™ Analysis

Characterize Real-world Storms


A particularly valuable service is OneRain's StormProperties Analysis. Using our data archive and StormData data quality management processes, OneRain has developed a technique to accurately characterize real-world storms that have been experienced since the inception of NEXRAD radar. StormProperties analyses enable our clients with critical, rainfall-dependent missions to track real storm behaviors that must affect their future planning.

OneRain's StormProperties approach powers projects that...

  • Incorporate radar and rain gauge data processing using a national radar rainfall database and local rain gauge observations
  • Use TITAN® (UCAR) specialized software to identify the geometric properties of storms
  • Create gauge-adjusted radar rainfall estimates for selected storms over drainage areas of interest
  • Identify typical storm patterns
  • Assess the applicability of uniformity assumptions related to design rain
  • Assess Depth Area Reduction Factors
  • Relate local rainfall characteristics to published data
  • Assess the suitability of design storm characteristics that may vary with return period
  • Compare identified storm patterns with other design storms currently used in the region
  • Assess the spatial distribution of storm characteristics within the watershed and surrounding areas
  • Evaluate intensity-frequency relationships for short duration events
  • Quantify the distribution of rainfall amounts as a percentage of rainfall events over time, and
  • Identify antecedent runoff conditions for various design storms

Realistic Design Storms

A primary use of StormProperties is to create realistic design storms, in which the changes in intensity and the spatiotemporal distribution of rainfall used for hydrologic modeling runoff reflect statistics that characterize real storms in real places.

Outcomes from storm properties analysis offers a defensible design storm that represents the behavior of rainfall specific to the study area. Climate change has impacted the behavior of rainfall, with many places seeing higher intensity shorter duration rainfall events. StormProperties analysis uses hundreds of thousand storm cells in a specific area to characterize rainfall. Tools are left behind for creating 2D+ (two dimensional, with movement) for modeling these design storms.

In cases where traditional design storms improperly represent realistic distribution and behavior of rainfall and thus runoff models, we may risk either wasting money by overbuilding to unrealistic events, or damaging operations, lives and property by underbuilding facilities. Building to the right size will save dollars and lives.