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Keywords:

  • rainfall modeling;
  • floods;
  • climate change;
  • rainfall distribution

[1] In the early 1990s a cluster of extreme flood events occurred in the south Galway region of western Ireland, and this led to speculation of changing rainfall patterns in the area. In this paper we illustrate the use of generalized linear models (GLMs) to test for such changes and quantify their structure. GLMs, long established in the statistical literature, provide a flexible and rigorous formal framework within which to distinguish between possible climate change scenarios and are able to deal with high levels of variability, such as those typically associated with daily rainfall sequences. The study indicates that the GLM approach provides a powerful tool for interpreting historical rainfall records.