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The reduction of the precipitation depth from a design storm for a point to an effective (mean) depth over a watershed often is important for cost-effective design of hydraulic structures by reducing the volume of precipitation. A design storm for a point is the depth of precipitation that has a specified duration and frequency (recurrence interval). The effective depth can be calculated by multiplying the design-storm depth by an areal-reduction factor (ARF). ARF ranges from 0 to 1, varies with the recurrence interval of the design storm, and is a function of watershed characteristics such as watershed size and shape, geographic location, and time of year that the design storm occurs. This report documents an investigation of ARF by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation, for the 1-day design storm for Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas. The ?annual maxima-centered? approach used in this report specifically considers the distribution of concurrent precipitation surrounding an annual precipitation maxima. Unlike previously established approaches, the annual maxima-centered approach does not require the spatial averaging of precipitation nor explicit definition of a representative area of a particular storm in the analysis. Graphs of the relation between ARF and circular watershed area (to about 7,000 square miles) are provided, and a technique to calculate ARF for noncircular watersheds is discussed.
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Areal-reduction factors for the precipitation of the 1-day design storm in Texas