Journal article

Calibrating hourly rainfall-runoff models with daily forcings for streamflow forecasting applications in meso-scale catchments

James C Bennett, David E Robertson, Phillip GD Ward, HA Prasantha Hapuarachchi, QJ Wang



The absence of long sub-daily rainfall records can hamper development of continuous streamflow forecasting systems run at sub-daily time steps. We test the hypothesis that simple disaggregation of daily rainfall data to hourly data, combined with hourly streamflow data, can be used to establish efficient hourly rainfall-runoff models. The approach is tested on four rainfall-runoff models and a range of meso-scale catchments (150-3500 km2). We also compare our disaggregation approach to a method of parameter scaling that attains an hourly parameter-set from daily data.Simple disaggregation of daily rainfall produces hourly streamflow models that perform almost as well as those developed from ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This research has been supported by the Water Information Research and Development Alliance (WIRADA) between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO Land & Water Flagship. Jayson Peterson (Entura) and Greg Carson (Hydro Tasmania) supplied data for the Forth River. David Enever and Chris Leahy (both Bureau of Meteorology) assisted in supplying data for the remaining catchments. Jean-Michel Perraud (CSIRO) configured models for the Murray catchment. We thank David Post (CSIRO) for comments and corrections to the manuscript. Catchment maps in Fig. 1 are generated from the Bureau of Meteorology Geofabric ( We are grateful to four anonymous referees, whose constructive and thorough reviews helped improve the paper substantially.