On the appropriateness of the Gumbel distribution for modelling extreme rainfall (solicited)

D. Koutsoyiannis, On the appropriateness of the Gumbel distribution for modelling extreme rainfall (solicited), Hydrological Risk: recent advances in peak river flow modelling, prediction and real-time forecasting. Assessment of the impacts of land-use and climate changes, edited by A. Brath, A. Montanari, and E. Toth, Bologna, 303–319, doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3811.6080, Editoriale Bios, Castrolibero, Italy, 2004.



For half a century, the Gumbel distribution has been the prevailing model for quantifying risk associated with extreme rainfall. Several arguments including theoretical reasons and empirical evidence are supposed to support the appropriateness of the Gumbel distribution. These arguments are examined thoroughly in this work and are put into question. Moreover, it is shown that the Gumbel distribution may misjudge the hydrological risk as it underestimates seriously the largest extreme rainfall amounts. Besides, it is shown that the three-parameter extreme value distribution of type II is a more consistent alternative and it is discussed how this distribution can be applied even with short hydrological records.

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Tagged under: Extremes, Rainfall models