The Danish measuring network for high-resolution rainfall data consists of approximately 70 tipping bucket rain gauges of which 41 have been operated for more than 10 years. The gauges are separated by one to 300 km and cover an area of 43,000 km2. Significant geographical variations of extreme rainfall characteristics have been observed. Part of these variations can be explained by correlation with the mean annual rainfall and the existence of a metropolitan effect in the Greater Copenhagen area. The remaining variation may be attributed to sampling errors and small-scale spatial variations close to the gauges. Engineering methodologies all require rain data of some kind, ranging from design storms based on idf-curves for use in simple calculations to high-resolution time series for use in detailed simulation studies. A comprehensive regional analysis was carried out to account for the geographical variation and to improve estimation for large return periods exceeding the actual length of the measured time series. Ideally, rainfall data used as input to urban drainage calculations should always be based on regional rain information. Regional design storms can be made readily available based on theory developed in this study. However, a satisfactory framework for generating synthetic rain series from regional rain information is not yet available. Thus, there will still be a need for using historical rain series in the near future. To improve the basis for choosing representative historical rain series all the Danish gauges have been classified according to their deviations from the regional distribution.

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