Articles | Volume 25, issue 10
Research article
12 Oct 2021
Research article |  | 12 Oct 2021

Numerical daemons of hydrological models are summoned by extreme precipitation

Peter T. La Follette, Adriaan J. Teuling, Nans Addor, Martyn Clark, Koen Jansen, and Lieke A. Melsen

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Cited articles

Addor, N. and Melsen, L.: Legacy, rather than adequacy, drives the selection of hydrological models, Water Resour. Res., 55, 378–390, 2019. a, b, c
Addor, N., Jaun, S., Fundel, F., and Zappa, M.: An operational hydrological ensemble prediction system for the city of Zurich (Switzerland): skill, case studies and scenarios, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2327–2347,, 2011. a
Blake, E. S. and Zelinsky, D. A.: National Hurricane Center tropical cyclone report hurricane Harvey, available at: (last access: 1 May 2021), 2018. a
Boithias, L., Sauvage, S., Lenica, A., Roux, H., Abbaspour, K. C., Larnier, K., Dartus, D., and Sánchez-Pérez, J. M.: Simulating flash floods at hourly time-step using the SWAT model, Water, 9, 929,, 2017. a
Brauer, C. C., Teuling, A. J., Overeem, A., van der Velde, Y., Hazenberg, P., Warmerdam, P. M. M., and Uijlenhoet, R.: Anatomy of extraordinary rainfall and flash flood in a Dutch lowland catchment, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1991–2005,, 2011. a
Short summary
Hydrological models are useful tools that allow us to predict distributions and movement of water. A variety of numerical methods are used by these models. We demonstrate which numerical methods yield large errors when subject to extreme precipitation. As the climate is changing such that extreme precipitation is more common, we find that some numerical methods are better suited for use in hydrological models. Also, we find that many current hydrological models use relatively inaccurate methods.