A Unified Framework for Extreme Subdaily Precipitation Frequency Analyses Based on Ordinary Events

Francesco Marra*, Marco Borga, Efrat Morin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The metastatistical extreme value approach proved promising in the frequency analysis of daily precipitation from ordinary events, outperforming traditional methods based on sampled extremes. However, subdaily applications are currently restrained by two knowledge gaps: It is not known if ordinary events can be consistently examined over durations, and it is not clear to what extent their entire distributions represent extremes. We propose here a unified definition of ordinary events across durations and suggest the simplified metastatistical extreme value formulation for dealing with extremes emerging from the tail, rather than the entire distributions, of ordinary events. This unified framework provides robust estimates of extreme quantiles (<10% error on the 100 yr from a 26 yr long record) and allows representations in which ordinary and extreme events share the scaling exponent. Future applications could improve our knowledge of subdaily extreme precipitation and help investigate the impact of local factors and climatic forcing on their frequency.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2020GL090209
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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©2020. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • extreme precipitation
  • frequency analysis
  • metastatistical extreme value
  • ordinary events
  • subdaily


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