Depth-Duration Frequency of Precipitation for Oklahoma

Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4232

Prepared in cooperation with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation
, , and



A regional frequency analysis was conducted to estimate the depth-duration frequency of precipitation for 12 durations in Oklahoma (15, 30, and 60 minutes; 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours; and 1, 3, and 7 days). Seven selected frequencies, expressed as recurrence intervals, were investigated (2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 years). L-moment statistics were used to summarize depth-duration data and to determine the appropriate statistical distributions. Three different rain-gage networks provided the data (15minute, 1-hour, and 1-day). The 60-minute, and 1-hour; and the 24-hour, and 1-day durations were analyzed separately. Data were used from rain-gage stations with at least 10-years of record and within Oklahoma or about 50 kilometers into bordering states. Precipitation annual maxima (depths) were determined from the data for 110 15-minute, 141 hourly, and 413 daily stations. The L-moment statistics for depths for all durations were calculated for each station using unbiased L-mo-ment estimators for the mean, L-scale, L-coefficient of variation, L-skew, and L-kur-tosis. The relation between L-skew and L-kurtosis (L-moment ratio diagram) and goodness-of-fit measures were used to select the frequency distributions. The three-parameter generalized logistic distribution was selected to model the frequencies of 15-, 30-, and 60-minute annual maxima; and the three-parameter generalized extreme-value distribution was selected to model the frequencies of 1-hour to 7-day annual maxima. The mean for each station and duration was corrected for the bias associated with fixed interval recording of precipitation amounts. The L-scale and spatially averaged L-skew statistics were used to compute the location, scale, and shape parameters of the selected distribution for each station and duration. The three parameters were used to calculate the depth-duration-frequency relations for each station. The precipitation depths for selected frequencies were contoured from weighted depth surfaces to produce maps from which the precipitation depth-duration-frequency curve for selected storm durations can be determined for any site in Oklahoma.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Depth-Duration Frequency of Precipitation for Oklahoma
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Oklahoma Water Science Center
iii, 113 p.