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To help size drainage, I'd like to calculate the maximum rainfall intensity for my particular location. How do I do that?

I've found data sources that will give me the average number of inches of rain per month. However, storms might last for only a few hours or a day, and intensity might vary, so it's not clear how to get from average precipitation over a month to the maximum amount of precipitation per hour at the height of a storm. Is there a conversion factor? Or, is there a site or calculator or chart I can use to look up the rainfall intensity for my area?

  • What location are you at? I know that NOAA Integrated Surface Database (visit ncdc.noaa.gov/isd when US gov reopens) provides hourly-resolution historical weather data from 20k stations across the globe. You can find columns for precipitation in the past 1/6/24 hour(s). – user12075 Jan 17 at 1:51
  • If you live in/near one of the listed large cities in north america, you can also check the dataset here (kaggle.com/selfishgene/historical-hourly-weather-data) – user12075 Jan 17 at 1:53
  • @user12075, thanks for the brainstorming! Unfortunately the past 1/6/24 hours isn't very useful at estimating what the maximum intensity is likely to be (unless I just happen to query at the right moment right after an intense storm). For your Kaggle dataset, I didn't see any file in it that contains rainfall intensity. Which file and column were you thinking of? – D.W. Jan 17 at 3:28
  • Sorry for pointing to the kaggle data, looks like it doesn't include precipitation. The NOAA one is a historical weather dataset, so "past 1 hour" means "1 hour before the time the weather was recorded", not before "now" when you query. – user12075 Jan 17 at 6:04

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