Development of the Spatial Rainfall Generator (SRGEN) for the Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender Model Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2014 American Water Resources Association. Accurate spatial representation of climatic patterns is often a challenge in modeling biophysical processes at the watershed scale, especially where the representation of a spatial gradient in rainfall is not sufficiently captured by the number of weather stations. The spatial rainfall generator (SRGEN) is developed as an extension of the "weather generator" (WXGEN), a component of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. SRGEN generates spatially distributed daily rainfall using monthly weather statistics available at multiple locations in a watershed. The spatial rainfall generator as incorporated in APEX is tested on the Cowhouse watershed (1,178 km2) in central Texas. The watershed presented a significant spatial rainfall gradient of 2.9 mm/km in the lateral (north-south) directions based on four rainfall gages. A comparative analysis between SRGEN and WXGEN indicates that SRGEN performs well (PBIAS = 2.40%). Good results were obtained from APEX for streamflow (NSE = 0.99, PBIAS = 8.34%) and NO3-N and soluble P loads (PBIAS ≈ 6.00% for each, respectively). However, APEX underpredicted sediment yield and organic N and P loads (PBIAS: 24.75-27.90%) with SRGEN, although its uncertainty in output was lower than WXGEN results (PBIAS: -13.02 to -46.13%). The overall improvement achieved in rainfall generation by SRGEN is demonstrated to be effective in the improving model performance on flow and water quality output.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jeong, J., Williams, J. R., Rossi, C. G., Taylor, R. A., Wang, X., & Fox, W. E.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • September 2014