Evaluation of MEVD-based precipitation frequency analyses from quasi-global precipitation datasets against dense rain gauge networks

Lanxin Hu, Efthymios I. Nikolopoulos, Francesco Marra, Efrat Morin, Marco Marani, Emmanouil N. Anagnostou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Precipitation extremes and associated hydrological hazards pose a significant global risk to society and economy. To be effective, mitigation strategies require the best possible estimation of the intensity and frequency of precipitation extremes. Traditional approaches to precipitation frequency analysis rely on long-term records from in-situ observations, which are limited in terms of global coverage. Satellite-based precipitation products provide global coverage, but errors in these estimates may lead to large biases in the quantification of extremes. Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of the novel Metastatistical Extreme Value Distribution (MEVD) framework to provide robust estimates of high quantiles in the presence of short-term data records and the uncertainties typical of remote sensing precipitation products. Here, we evaluate MEVD-based precipitation frequency analyses for four widely used quasi-global precipitation products (IMERG-v6, GSMaP-v6, CMORPH-v1.0, and MSWEP-v2) over high-density gauge networks in five hydroclimatic regions (Austria, Italy, Florida, Texas, and Arizona). We show dependence of MEVD-based estimation error on the characteristics of each dataset and the hydroclimatic region. Additionally, we evaluate the sub-grid variability of extreme precipitation and demonstrate the impact of spatial scale mismatch (that is, single in-situ gauge versus satellite pixel) on the frequency analysis of extremes. This work provides an assessment of the use of MEVD for estimating precipitation extremes from globally available datasets and an understanding of the variability of sub-daily precipitation extremes in different hydroclimatic regions of the world.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number125564
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Nov 2020

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • High-density rain gauges
  • Precipitation extremes
  • Satellite-based precipitation products
  • Uncertainty


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