Censored rainfall modelling for estimation of fine-scale extremes
- 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
- 2EDF Energy R&D UK Centre, Interchange, 81–85 Station Road, Croydon, CR0 2RD, UK
- 3CEREA, EDF R&D – ENPC, 6 quai Watier, 78400 Chatou, France
Abstract. Reliable estimation of rainfall extremes is essential for drainage system design, flood mitigation, and risk quantification. However, traditional techniques lack physical realism and extrapolation can be highly uncertain. In this study, we improve the physical basis for short-duration extreme rainfall estimation by simulating the heavy portion of the rainfall record mechanistically using the Bartlett–Lewis rectangular pulse (BLRP) model. Mechanistic rainfall models have had a tendency to underestimate rainfall extremes at fine temporal scales. Despite this, the simple process representation of rectangular pulse models is appealing in the context of extreme rainfall estimation because it emulates the known phenomenology of rainfall generation. A censored approach to Bartlett–Lewis model calibration is proposed and performed for single-site rainfall from two gauges in the UK and Germany. Extreme rainfall estimation is performed for each gauge at the 5, 15, and 60 min resolutions, and considerations for censor selection discussed.