GEP  Vol.7 No.2 , February 2019
The Value of Using Unofficial Measurements of Rainfall: The Dublin Storm and Flood of June 1963
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Abstract: Rainfall measurements are vital for the design of hydraulic structures, climate change studies, irrigation and land drainage works. The most important source of design rainfall data comes from convective storms. Accurate assessment of the storm rainfall requires a fairly dense network of raingauges. In 1963, such a storm took place over Dublin in Ireland. However, the existing raingauge network was insufficient to identify both the depth and pattern of rainfall. An appeal was made by Met Eireann for additional unofficial rainfall data. The result was remarkable in that the estimated maximum rainfall depth was found to be more than double the official value and that the resulting depth area analysis suggested a rainfall volume over a large area much bigger than the original isohyet map indicated. This result has huge implications for the estimation of maximum rainfall and dam safety assessment, especially in countries where the raingauge network has a low density. This paper first provides a description of the synoptic conditions that led to the storm, second an analysis of the rainfall data and how the unofficial measurements produced a very different depth area relationship; third, the social consequences of the resulting flood are described. Fourth, the storm is then placed in the context of other storms in the British Isles Finally the implications for rainfall measurement, gauge density and an example of how revised estimates of probable maximum precipitation (PMP) have been used to improve the safety and design standard of a flood detention dam are discussed.
Cite this paper: Clark, C. (2019) The Value of Using Unofficial Measurements of Rainfall: The Dublin Storm and Flood of June 1963. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 7, 76-91. doi: 10.4236/gep.2019.72006.

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