An investigation on how to estimate the distribution of short-duration (hours or shorter) rainfalls based on available daily rainfall measurements was undertaken. On the basis of the theory of multifractal multiplicative cascades, a scale-independent mathematical model was proposed to represent the probability distribution of rainfalls at various time scales. Using rainfall records from a network of seven recording gauges in the Montreal region in Quebec (Canada), it was found that the proposed model could provide adequate estimates of the distribution of hourly rainfalls at locations where these short-duration rainfall data are not available. Further, it has been observed that one single regional model can be developed to describe the scaling nature of rainfall distributions within the whole study area.

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