2002 – Probabilities of Extreme Rainfall – Past, Present, and Future

J.H. Green, P.E. Weinmann, G.A. Kuczera, R. J. Nathan and E.M. Laurenson

Assigning an Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) to the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP), and subsequently to the PMP Design Flood, is an integral part of the risk assessment process for large dams. Laurenson and Kuczera (1998) conducted a review of existing PMP risk estimation practices in Australia and concluded that, in the absence of any better information, the work by Kennedy and Hart (1984) provided the most appropriate estimates to adopt but with the proviso that the method should be viewed as interim pending the outcomes of ongoing research.

This paper gives an overview of a joint research project that is working towards obtaining credible estimates of exceedance probabilities of extreme rainfalls using the concept of storm arrival probability and storm transposition probability. It also outlines the work to be carried out over the next 12 months that will culminate in the combining of the outcomes of the two components and the application to test catchments. Finally, the paper discusses desirable follow-up action to promote the adoption of the research results by practitioners.

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