Abstract— The estimation of areal rainfall is an important part of solving various hydrological problems utilizing rainfall-runoff and other models. Traditionally used Thiessen polygons (TP) method proved to be inaccurate mainly in mountainous areas and in catchments with insufficient number of rainfall gauges. One of the alternative to this method is an inverse distance weighting (IDW) method giving better estimates of areal rainfall even on places with rugged orography. However, this and similar methods are far less efficient than the simple TP method restraining its use to tasks where computational efficiency is not important. In this study a new algorithm accelerating the traditional IDW method is proposed and applied to three mountainous catchments situated in the central part of Slovakia. The method is compared with traditional IDW and TP methods in terms of both computational efficiency and estimated values. The results showed that while the new method gives the same results as the traditional IDW method it is far more efficient when the computational time was in all three catchments reduced by more than 96%. Keywords - areal rainfall, inverse distance weighting, interpolation, Thiessen polygons.
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