A global survey on the seasonal variation of the marginal distribution of daily precipitation

S.M. Papalexiou, and D. Koutsoyiannis, A global survey on the seasonal variation of the marginal distribution of daily precipitation, Advances in Water Resources, 94, 131–145, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.05.005, 2016.



To characterize the seasonal variation of the marginal distribution of daily precipitation, it is important to find which statistical characteristics of daily precipitation actually vary the most from month-to-month and which could be regarded to be invariant. Relevant to the latter issue is the question whether there is a single model capable to describe effectively the nonzero daily precipitation for every month worldwide. To study these questions we introduce and apply a novel test for seasonal variation (SV-Test) and explore the performance of two flexible distributions in a massive analysis of approximately 170,000 monthly daily precipitation records at more than 14,000 stations from all over the globe. The analysis indicates that: (a) the shape characteristics of the marginal distribution of daily precipitation, generally, vary over the months, (b) commonly used distributions such as the Exponential, Gamma, Weibull, Lognormal, and the Pareto, are incapable to describe “universally” the daily precipitation, (c) exponential-tail distributions like the Exponential, mixed Exponentials or the Gamma can severely underestimate the magnitude of extreme events and thus may be a wrong choice, and (d) the Burr type XII and the Generalized Gamma distributions are two good models, with the latter performing exceptionally well.

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See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.05.005

Our works referenced by this work:

1. S.M. Papalexiou, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Entropy based derivation of probability distributions: A case study to daily rainfall, Advances in Water Resources, 45, 51–57, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.11.007, 2012.
2. S.M. Papalexiou, D. Koutsoyiannis, and C. Makropoulos, How extreme is extreme? An assessment of daily rainfall distribution tails, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 851–862, doi:10.5194/hess-17-851-2013, 2013.
3. S.M. Papalexiou, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Battle of extreme value distributions: A global survey on extreme daily rainfall, Water Resources Research, 49 (1), 187–201, doi:10.1029/2012WR012557, 2013.

Our works that reference this work:

1. I. Tsoukalas, S.M. Papalexiou, A. Efstratiadis, and C. Makropoulos, A cautionary note on the reproduction of dependencies through linear stochastic models with non-Gaussian white noise, Water, 10 (6), 771, doi:10.3390/w10060771, 2018.
2. I. Tsoukalas, C. Makropoulos, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Simulation of stochastic processes exhibiting any-range dependence and arbitrary marginal distributions, Water Resources Research, 54 (11), 9484–9513, doi:10.1029/2017WR022462, 2018.
3. T. Iliopoulou, D. Koutsoyiannis, and A. Montanari, Characterizing and modeling seasonality in extreme rainfall, Water Resources Research, 54 (9), 6242–6258, doi:10.1029/2018WR023360, 2018.
4. P. Kossieris, and C. Makropoulos, Exploring the statistical and distributional properties of residential water demand at fine time scales, Water, 10 (10), 1481, doi:10.3390/w10101481, 2018.
5. P. Kossieris, I. Tsoukalas, C. Makropoulos, and D. Savic, Simulating marginal and dependence behaviour of water demand processes at any fine time scale, Water, 11 (5), 885, doi:10.3390/w11050885, 2019.

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Tagged under: Rainfall models