The Haihe River basin of North China is characterized by extremely low per capita water resources and a consistently long-term decreasing trend of precipitation and runoff over the last few decades. This study analyzes the climatological features of rainy season (May–September) precipitation in the Haihe River basin and its branch systems based on a high-density hourly observational dataset during 2007–2017. We show that there are two high-rainfall zones in the basin, with one along the south of the Yanshan Mountains to Taihang Mountains and another along the Tuma River in the south. Rainstorm centers exist amidst the two zones. July generally sees the highest precipitation, followed by August, and May has the lowest precipitation. The major flood season is reached between the third pentad of July and the fourth pentad of August. The precipitation is high at night but low in the daytime. In the pre-flood season before early July, rainfalls mostly arrive at 16:00–21:00 h. After entering the major flood season, the diurnal precipitation has two peaks, one at 17:00–22:00 h and the other at 0:00–7:00 h. In the post-flood season after mid-August, the most rain occurs at night, with the peak appearing at 0:00–8:00 h. The short-duration precipitation is mainly distributed in the mountainous areas, and the long-duration precipitation that contributes most to seasonal rainfalls appears in the plain areas, and the continuous precipitation mostly occurs in the windward slopes of the Taihang Mountains and the Yanshan Mountains. In addition, urbanization process around large city stations may have affected the rainy season precipitation to a certain extent in the Haihe River basin, with large and medium city stations experiencing around 10% higher precipitation than small city stations. However, this issue needs to be investigated exclusively.
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