An Advanced Hidden Markov Model for Hourly Rainfall Time Series

06/10/2019 ∙ by Oliver Stoner, et al. ∙ 0

For hydrological applications, such as urban flood modelling, it is often important to be able to simulate sub-daily rainfall time series from stochastic models. However, modelling rainfall at this resolution poses several challenges, including a complex temporal structure including long dry periods, seasonal variation in both the occurrence and intensity of rainfall, and extreme values. We illustrate how the hidden Markov framework can be adapted to construct a compelling model for sub-daily rainfall, which is capable of capturing all of these important characteristics well. These adaptations include clone states and non-stationarity in both the transition matrix and conditional models. Set in the Bayesian framework, a rich quantification of both parametric and predictive uncertainty is available, and thorough model checking is made possible through posterior predictive analyses. Results from the model are interpretable, allowing for meaningful examination of seasonal variation and medium to long term trends in rainfall occurrence and intensity. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, both in terms of model fit and interpretability, we apply the model to an 8-year long time series of hourly observations.

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