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Lookup Rainfall Command

The Lookup Rainfall command retrieves rainfall depth or rainfall intensity data for design storms for any location within the United States for selected regions only.

Note that once the user has retrieved rainfall data for a project, it is stored with the project. In that way, if the user closes the project and then reopens the project and runs the Lookup Rainfall command, the same data is presented.

Follow the steps below to use the Lookup Rainfall command:

  1. From the Input ribbon menu, select the Lookup Rainfall command.
    Lookup Rainfall ribbon menu command
  2. The Lookup Rainfall dialog box will be displayed.
    Lookup Rainfall dialog box

The following sections describe how to use the Lookup Rainfall command and interact with the above dialog box.

Location Selection (USA only)

This section allows the user to select the location from which to retrieve the rainfall intensity data.

The user can select the location using one of the three options appearing below:

  • Centered on current view extents – When this radio button entry is selected, the software will pick the central location of the region displayed in the current Map View extents for retrieval of rainfall data.
  • Centered on subbasins – When this radio button entry is selected, the software will pick the central location of the subbasin model defined in the project. Note that if no subbasins are defined, this option will be disabled (greyed out).
  • Select location – The Select location radio button entry allows the user to pick the desired location from the Map View interactively by using the [Pick] button. The address of the selected location will be displayed in the read-only field next to this option. The latitude and longitude values for the selected location will be displayed in the Latitude & longitude fields.
    Select location radio button entry

Note that if the user selects either the Centered on current view extents or the Centered on subbasins options, the software will display the information of the selected location once it has successfully retrieved the rainfall data. The physical address of the selected location will be displayed in the read-only field next to the Select location field, and latitude and longitude values for the location will be displayed in the Latitude & longitude fields.

Perform Rainfall Lookup

Once the desired location is selected, the user can click the [Retrieve] button to retrieve the rainfall data for the selected location. On clicking the [Retrieve] button, the software looks up the rainfall data from the NOAA Precipitation Frequency Data Server (PFDS).

Note that the coverage area shown below is current as of October 2021. However, this coverage area will continue to increase as more states are processed.
NOAA precipitation coverage map

If the selected location is not within the coverage area available, the software will display the following informational dialog box.
NOAA Precipitation Frequency Data informational dialog box

After successfully retrieving the data, the software populates the data in the table provided under the Rainfall depth section. This table displays the rainfall depth values for various storm durations for 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000-year storm events.
Rainfall depth data retrieved in Rainfall depth section

Additionally, the user can right-click anywhere in the data table to display a context menu containing various commands that allow the copying of rainfall data to Windows clipboard and the export of the data in different file formats.
Data table context menu

About the Author Chris Maeder

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