The hydrologic cycle begins and ends with precipitation; therefore, knowledge of the amount and distribution of rainfall over an area is a prerequisite to any attempt at efficient water resources management in developing countries.

In addition, in the face of a changing global climate, knowledge of the distribution of rainfall reveals regions that are most vulnerable to an increase in extreme events, whether it be floods or droughts.  Such knowledge may help to determine what type of climate adaptation measures need to be taken for a particular community with regard to more intense extreme events, whether it be building more flood control measures, relocating the inhabitants, etc.

Researchers also seek to develop robust, defensible, low-error methods for frequency analysis so that users, such as decision makers tasked with addressing recurring physical events, can make estimates with as much certainty, transparency, and consistency as possible.

The purpose of ICI-RAFT is to estimate the frequency/intensity of a rainfall event of a particular duration using rainfall observations on the ground. The goal is to be able to answer such questions as:

  • What is the probability that the current drought will end in X months?
  • How long of a drought should we prepare for?
  • What is the frequency of maximum drought intensity observed?