A two steps disaggregation method for highly seasonal monthly rainfall

L. Guenni, A. Bárdossy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for high resolution rainfall data at temporal scales varying from daily to hourly or even minutes is a very important problem in hydrology. For many locations of the world, rainfall data quality is very poor and reliable measurements are only available at a coarse time resolution such as monthly. The purpose of this work is to apply a stochastic disaggregation method of monthly to daily precipitation in two steps: 1. Initialization of the daily rainfall series by using the truncated normal model as a reference distribution. 2. Restructuring of the series according to various time series statistics (autocorrelation function, scaling properties, seasonality) by using a Markov chain Monte Carlo based algorithm. The method was applied to a data set from a rainfall network of the central plains of Venezuela, in where rainfall is highly seasonal and data availability at a daily time scale or even higher temporal resolution is very limited. A detailed analysis was carried out to study the seasonal and spatial variability of many properties of the daily rainfall as scaling properties and autocorrelation function in order to incorporate the selected statistics and their annual cycle into an objective function to be minimized in the simulation procedure. Comparisons between the observed and simulated data suggest the adequacy of the technique in providing rainfall sequences with consistent statistical properties at a daily time scale given the monthly totals. The methodology, although highly computationally intensive, needs a moderate number of statistical properties of the daily rainfall. Regionalization of these statistical properties is an important next step for the application of this technique to regions in where daily data is not available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-206
Number of pages19
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Environmental Science


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