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Converting Daily Rainfall Data to Sub-daily—Introducing the MIMD Method


One of the most important analysis in many hydrological and agricultural studies is to convert the daily rainfall data into sub-daily (hourly) because in many rainfall stations, only the daily rainfall data are available and for a comprehensive rainfall analysis, these data should be converted to sub-daily. Many experimental and analytical methods are available for this conversion but one of the simplest yet accurate ones has been proposed by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Since the IMD method has shown low accuracy in some regions, in this study, the IMD method is modified to a single parameter equation, called Modified Indian Meteorological Department (MIMD) in order to improve the accuracy of the conversion. For this reason, the parameter is calibrated so that the maximum correlation between observed and estimated values is achieved. Five stations in different regions with different climatic conditions were selected so that the daily and sub-daily rainfall data were available in each of them. Then, the parameter of the MIMD method was derived for each station. The results were compared with both observed data and IMD method and it was shown that the mean correlation coefficient of MIMD and IMD methods were 0.9 and 0.73 respectively for 12-h rainfall depth which indicated that the accuracy of the MIMD method in estimation of sub-daily rainfall depths was significantly increased. Moreover, the results showed that the accuracy of the MIMD method decreases as rainfall duration decreases.

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Availability of Data and Materials

The rainfall data which have been used in this study, were collected by the first and third authors who worked on some projects during recent years as follow: Senior Research Associate at Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE) in China, Post-Doc fellow at University of West Indies (UWI) in Barbados, PhD program at Graz University of Technology (TUG) in Austria, Flood Management in Kordan’s Catchment in Iran.


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Majid Galoie and Artemis Motamedi are grateful for all assistances and supports of IMHE, UWI, TUG and Ministry of Power and Energy of Iran.


This research has not been supported by any organization and the authors received no financial support for the research, authorship or publication of this article.

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Author 1: Majid Galoie (30%) Conceived and designed the analysis, Collected the data, Contributed data or analysis tools, Performed the analysis and Wrote the paper; Author 2: Fouad Kilanehei (30%) Conceived and designed the analysis and Wrote the paper; Author 3: Artemis Motamedi (30%) Collected the data, Contributed data or analysis tools and Performed the analysis; Author 4: Mohammad Nazari-Sharabian (10%) Other contribution (Reviewing the paper- Grammar Checking).

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Correspondence to Majid Galoie.

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Galoie, M., Kilanehei, F., Motamedi, A. et al. Converting Daily Rainfall Data to Sub-daily—Introducing the MIMD Method. Water Resour Manage 35, 3861–3871 (2021).

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  • Modified Indian Meteorological Department (MIMD)
  • Daily to sub-daily rainfall conversion
  • Rainfall analysis
  • IMD method