2002 – A New Method for Estimating Probable Maximum Precipitation in Tropical Australia

David J. Walland, Jeanette Meighen, Catherine Beesley, Karin Xuereb

The method for estimating Probable Maximum Precipitation in areas of Australia affected by tropical storms has been revised. The method that it replaces, designed in the 1970s is considered outdated and based on limited data.

The entire Bureau rainfall record has been examined objectively for the largest rainfall events. These events have been analysed and modified to enable storm transposition across a large region. The modifications are based on local topography, moisture and location. Once the storm data is transposed to a single location it can be meaningfully compared and used to construct an upper estimate on the possible rainfall. This estimate can then be used in conjunction with information about a specific catchment in order to estimate Probable Maximum Precipitation at that location.

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