CR 51:23-33 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01055

Alternative model for precipitation probability ­distribution: application to Spain

Roberto Moncho1,2,*, Vicente Caselles2, Guillem Chust3

1Fundación para la Investigación del Clima, C/ Gran Vía 22, 6º izda., 28013 Madrid, Spain
2Departament de Física de la Terra i Termodinàmica, Universitat de València, C/ Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
3AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division, Txatxarramendi ugartea z/g, 48395 Sukarrieta, Spain

ABSTRACT: In climatology, there is difficulty in describing the probability distribution of rainfall because there are many days without precipitation, which usually causes the most likely daily rainfall to be zero. None of the widely used models is able to describe the overall variation of daily precipitation. This article proposes an alternative model for the probability of precipitation. The model, based on 4 parameters, has been applied to daily rainfall throughout all months of the year and for 108 stations in Spain. This alternative model provides better results than the commonly used probability models (Generalized Extreme Value, Pareto and Generalized Pareto Distribution, Gamma, Gumbel, Weibull, Exponential and Log-normal). Our model had a mean absolute error of <10% for most of the stations analyzed. Thus, this alternative model could be used to correct the probability distributions of daily precipitation obtained from weather forecasting and climate models.


KEY WORDS: Probability distribution · Return period · Precipitation · Spain


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Cite this article as: Moncho R, Caselles V, Chust G (2012) Alternative model for precipitation probability ­distribution: application to Spain. Clim Res 51:23-33. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01055

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