This study proposes an evaluation framework to identify the optimal raingauge network in a watershed using grid-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) with high spatial and temporal resolution. The proposed evaluation framework is based on comparison of the spatial and temporal variation in rainfall characteristics (i.e. rainfall depth and storm pattern) from the gauged data compared with those from QPE. The proposed framework first utilizes cluster analysis to separate raingauges into various clusters based on the locations and rainfall characteristics. Then, a cross-validation algorithm is used to identify the influential raingauge in each cluster based on evaluating performance of fitting weighted spatiotemporal semivariograms of rainfall characteristics from the gauged rainfall to the QPE data. Thus, the influential raingauges for a specific cluster number form the representative network. The optimal raingauge network is the one corresponding to the best fitness performance among the representative networks considered. The study area and data set are the hourly rainfall from 26 raingauges and 1,336 QPE grids for 10 typhoons in the Wu River watershed located in central Taiwan. The proposed evaluation framework suggests that a 10-gauge network is the optimal and can describe a good spatial and temporal variation in the rain field similar to the grid-based QPE from two additional typhoon events.

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