The design of hydraulic structures requires knowledge of how much rain is likely to fall within a certain amount of time, and over a specific area. Point rainfalls are only representative for a very limited area, and for larger areas the areal average rainfall depth is likely to be much smaller than at the point of maximum observed depth. The estimation of areal reduction factors is concerned with the relationship between the point and areal rainfalls. This relationship has been found to vary with, for example, predominant weather type, season and return period. Methods for estimation of areal reduction factors include empirical and analytical methods. The current design guidelines in the United Kingdom are based on an empirical method, but since they were issued in 1975, several new analytical methods have been proposed. These methods are discussed, and recommendations for an update suitable for United Kingdom conditions are made
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