[Thumbnail map] Middle East Rainfall Intensity
Middle East Peace Process, Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources
Rainfall Intensity Project Team

Version 2 of the Rainfall Intensity software is now available! It corrects many of the "bugs" reported in the previous version.

Rainfall Intensity Home




Create a "rainfall" database

Create a "rainfall_stats" database

Set each database as a System DSN to allow connection to the RAIN software



Open the RAIN software

Log On to RAIN software programs



Getting Started - Things to Do Before You Begin Digitizing

Log On

Link to your "rainfall" database

Digitize a strip chart and save as an x,y ascii file on your hard drive

QC the digitized strip charts

Load digitized ascii file(s) to your "rainfall" database

Convert digitized ascii file(s) to meaningful rainfall data (time-depth series) and store in your "rainfall" database



Select a dataset (select data to analyze)

Quality control the selected data (view raw rainfall data)

Analyze the selected data using predictive statistical curve fits (includes IDF analysis)

Create a report (automated reports showing various results)

Show monthly and seasonal summaries

Display data on map using RAINMAP

Edit hydrologic default settings (customize program settings such as "months that comprise a water year" and others)



Log On

Edit, add, or delete data in your "rainfall" database

Export or import your "rainfall" database


Middle East Regional Rainfall-Intensity Project



The Regional Rainfall-Intensity Project (Home Page) is a U.S. contribution to the Middle East Regional Water Data Banks Project, Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources, Middle East Peace Process. The objective of the project is to develop a regional database system to input, store, analyze, and report rainfall-intensity data providing scientists with the capability to evaluate rainfall intensities in areas of Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian (Core Party) interest.

Rainfall-intensity measurements are used by engineers, land-use planners, and water-resource managers to design safe and economical structures for the control, storage, and routing of storm and surface water. These designs are based on depth-duration-frequency curves that are generated from historical rainfall-intensity measurements made over statistically significant periods of time. These depth-duration-frequency curves - also known as "probability curves" - represent probable future rainfall intensities.

Rainfall-intensity measurements and the resulting depth-duration frequency (or probability) curves are used in a variety of ways. For example, depth-duration frequency curves commonly are used in the design of drainage structures such as parking lots, culverts, and storm drains. The curves also are used as input to rainfall-runoff models, helping scientists and engineers predict floods and land slides. Dam failure predictions and spillway designs often are based on the magnitude of an extremely rare, large flood. Soil erosion prevention practices and irrigation management procedures also are based on reliable predictions of rainfall intensities.

For decades, rainfall-intensity in the Middle East has been measured using mechanical strip-chart recorders, also known as weighing bucket recorders. These instruments record rain depth with time on a paper strip chart that is wrapped around a slowly and uniformly spinning cylindrical drum. As the instrument bucket is filled with rain, it slowly descends and a pen records the corresponding depth of rain on the paper chart. The result is a graph showing the amount of rainfall (vertical movement of pen) over time (rotational movement of drum). A fresh chart is loaded every 24 hours as needed.

To extract useful information from a strip chart, the pen line (plotline) must be converted to numerical values of depth versus time. These values are then used to compute rainfall-intensity over time. Commonly, the plotline is converted to numerical values by digitally tracing its shape and position with a digitizer tablet. The digitized tracing is then converted to meaningful rainfall data (time-depths).

Custom-designed computer programs were developed as part of the Middle East Rainfall-Intensity Project to provide users with a complete software system for digitizing strip charts, and for storing, analyzing, mapping, and reporting rainfall-intensity data.

The RAIN software system consists of the following integrated programs:



RAINSTART is a custom Windows-based software program that serves as the main menu for all of the RAIN software applications. It allows a user to open RAINDIGITIZER, RAINPLOT, and RAINSHARE.



RAINDIGITIZER is a custom Windows-based software program developed for the regional Middle East rainfall-intensity database project. The program allows a user to:

  • connect to a relational database of choice
  • view the structure (tables and fields) of the connected database
  • edit, add, or delete records in the connected database
  • digitize a variety of rainfall-intensity strip chart types and store the data in raw ascii files
  • load the ascii files into the connected database
  • convert the raw digitized data to meaningful time-depth values and store these in the connected database



RAINPLOT is a custom Windows-based software program developed for the regional Middle East rainfall-intensity database project. The program allows a user to:

  • connect to a relational database of choice
  • retrieve and display maximum rainfall intensities, rainfall summaries, and other data from the connected database
  • perform a wide range of statistical analyses on the retrieved data
  • fit the retrieved data to theoretical probability distributions
  • test the theoretical distributions for optimal fit
  • automatically graph and tabulate various statistical results
  • automatically create and print customized rainfall-intensity and rainfall summary reports
  • open RAINMAP to display various results on a map.

RAINPLOT supports a large number of statistical distributions and plotting positions, supports best-fit testing, and allows a number of rainfall summary and analyses reports and plots to be generated automatically. Specific capabilities of RAINPLOT include:

  • the retrieval of annual maximum series or partial series data
  • the following plotting position formats: Weibull, Cunnane, Hazen, Beard, and a general equation
  • use of the following probability distributions to fit data: Normal, 2 Parameter Log Normal, 3 Parameter Log Normal, Pearson Type III, Log Pearson Type III, Gumbel Type I Extremal, Generalized Extreme Value, Generalized Pareto by L-Moments, Gumbel by L-Moments
  • tests to compare distributions for best curve fit
  • customized reports and plots including: the sorting of rainstorms according to their intensity distribution and organizing them by storms, months, and years; generating intensity, duration, and frequency statistics for various periods of duration; intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves; and calculating the energy amount and erosivity of rain storms



RAINSHARE is a custom Windows-based software program developed for the regional Middle East rainfall-intensity database project. The program allows a user to:

  • connect to and edit data inside a relational database of choice
  • automatically export part or all of a rainfall intensity database by generating *.xml files that correspond to the exported data
  • automatically import *.xml files that will regenerate part or all of a rainfall intensity database.


An online User's Manual provides detailed instructions in the use of these programs. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

All content on this site was developed by members of the Rainfall Intensity Project, Middle East Peace Process, Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources. This website was last updated on January21, 2005. Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. EXACT makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information; however, data such as names, telephone numbers, etc., may change frequently. Links are provided as a source of information and do not consitute an endorsement by EXACT of materials presented. EXACT provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data.