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Methods for estimating regional coefficient of skewness for unregulated streams in New England, based on data through water year 2011

September 13, 2019

The magnitude of annual exceedance probability floods is greatly affected by the coefficient of skewness (skew) of the annual peak flows at a streamgage. Standard flood frequency methods recommend weighting the station skew with a regional skew to better represent regional and stable conditions. This study presents an updated analysis of a regional skew for New England developed using a robust Bayesian weighted and generalized least squares regression model. Nineteen explanatory variables for 153 streamgages were tested in the regression analysis, but none were statistically significant and, as a result, a constant model was selected to define the regional skew for New England. The constant model for the New England region has, in log units, a skew of 0.37, a model error variance of 0.13, and an average variance of prediction at a new site of 0.14. An assessment of the selected regional skew model was conducted using a Monte Carlo analysis. The Monte Carlo simulations reveal that the perceived pattern in the station skews among the 153 streamgages is an artifact of the sample variability and the covariance structure of the errors.