Study region The Little Washita River Experimental Watershed (LWREW) is located between Chickasha and Lawton in southwestern Oklahoma, US. Study focus In this study, frequency analyses were conducted on sub-hourly precipitation event descriptors to quantify the changes in precipitation patterns commonly masked in annual analysis. Precipitation events were derived from 5-min data collected by USDA-ARS from 1961 to 2015. New hydrological insights for the region During the 1962–2015 period, this region experienced successive regional long-term wet (1962–1995) and dry (1996–2015) dominated periods of more than 20 years each. During the wet period, precipitation intensity ranging from 1 to 12 mm were 20% less likely to occur while event daily average precipitation and number of events increased by 10% and 11%, respectively. Also, the average daily precipitation occurred more often at lower intensities. In contrast, during the dry period, instantaneous intensity ranging from 1 to 12 mm became more likely to occur (64% increase; 1996–2015) while event daily average precipitation and number of events decreased by 16% and 18%, respectively. Overall, comparisons with the baseline data (1962–2015) indicated that in the last 20 years, sub-hourly precipitation intensities have increased while daily event duration and extreme 5-min precipitation intensities larger than 24 mm (precipitation intensification below extremes) have remained unchanged.
- Climate trends
- Little Washita River Experimental Watershed
- Non-stationary precipitation
- Precipitation variability and change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)