What is it about?

Probable maximum precipitation (PMP) in Barcelona for durations ranging from 5 min to 30 h was estimated using two different techniques: a physical method based on the maximization of actual storms, and the Hershfield' statistical method. The PMP values obtained using the two techniques are very similar: in both cases, the expected increasing behaviour of the PMP with duration was found, with a especially notable increase for the mesoscale durations 2–9 h, and not significant from 12 h on up. This result seems to be related to the scale of the meteorological situations producing high intense rainfall amounts over our territory.

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Why is it important?

Two different techniques, the physical and the statistical approaches, were satisfactorily applied to obtain the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) in Barcelona, with similar results. PMP is defined as ‘the greatest depth of precipitation for a given duration meteorologically possible for a given size storm area at a particular location at a particular time of year, with no allowance made for long-term climatic trends’. Hydrologists use the PMP magnitude and its spatial and temporal distributions in the design of hydrological structures, for maximum reliability and safety.

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This page is a summary of: Estimation of the probable maximum precipitation in Barcelona (Spain), International Journal of Climatology, April 2010, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/joc.2149.
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