This study was based on a rainstorm that happened in Beijing on 20 July 2016. We analyzed the characteristics of rainfall and runoff during this rainstorm, compared it to rainstorm 721, and investigated why no surface runoff was observed during this rainstorm. A runoff plot experiment showed that almost all runoff consisted of deep interflow (40–60 cm). For runoff plots with identical vegetation, the slope was smaller, and the lag time of the deep interflow relative to the process of rainfall was shorter. The runoff yield of the deep interflow was inversely proportional to the slope. Compared to plots with pure tree forest and shrub forest, the interflow process curve of plots with coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest was relatively gentle during the rainfall process. Thick litter layers, low antecedent moisture content of the soil, high gravel content of the soil, and the short duration of high intensity rainfall are the causes for the observed lack of surface runoff. To simultaneously prevent flooding and waterlogging, we propose to utilize vegetation to improve water storage at the reservoirs and to replenish the groundwater during cumulative rainstorms with a stable rain tendency.

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