Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publication Date
11 November 2022

Technical note: Modeling spatial fields of extreme precipitation – a hierarchical Bayesian approach



We introduce a hierarchical Bayesian model for the spatial distribution of rainfall corresponding to an extreme event of a specified duration that could be used with regional hydrologic models to perform a regional hydrologic risk analysis. An extreme event is defined if any gaging site in the watershed experiences an annual maximum rainfall event and the spatial field of rainfall at all sites corresponding to that occurrence is modeled. Applications to data from New York City demonstrate the effectiveness of the model for providing spatial scenarios that could be used for simulating loadings into the urban drainage system. Insights as to the homogeneity in spatial rainfall and its implications for modeling are provided by considering partial pooling in the hierarchical Bayesian framework.

Rahill-Marier, Bianca, Naresh Devineni, and Upmanu Lall. 2022. “Technical Note: Modeling Spatial Fields Of Extreme Precipitation – A Hierarchical Bayesian Approach”. Hydrology And Earth System Sciences 26 (21). Copernicus GmbH: 5685-5695. doi:10.5194/hess-26-5685-2022.
Funding Program Area(s)