Characterization of dynamic evolution of the spatio-temporal variation of rain-field in Hong Kong

Peng Liu*, Yeou-Koung Tung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A significant part of Hong Kong has hilly terrain with relatively short flow concentration time and, hence, is susceptible to the threat of flash floods and landslides during intense convective thunderstorms and tropical cyclones. For places like Hong Kong, a rainfall model that could adequately capture small-scale temporal and spatial variations would be highly desirable. The main challenge in rain-field modeling is to capture and describe the dynamic time-space evolution of the rainfall during rainstormevents. In this study, radar data with a high spatial (1 km2) and temporal (6 min) resolution of four rainstorm events in Hong Kong are analyzed. A geostatistical approach based on indicator variograms of rain-fields is used. The spatial structure of a rain-field is found to be highly anisotropic and should be adequately considered in the model. Variability of the spatial structure of a rain-field was described well by the main features of the variograms. Moreover, it is possible to identify whether multiple rainstormcenters exist by comparing the mean length and range. In order to establish reliable statistics on the spatial and temporal structure of rain-fields in Hong Kong, this approach could be applied to a large set of rainstorm events in this same region in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-482
Number of pages15
JournalHydrology Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Geostatistics
  • Mean length
  • Precipitation
  • Spatial structure
  • Variogram

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