The aim of this study is to investigate and quantify changes in the rainfall regime of the metropolitan area of Palermo characterised by increasingly strong urbanisation. The rainfall data, considered in this study, were collected on a yearly basis from eight rain gauges within and outside the metropolitan area of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. A preliminary analysis made on the annual total rainfall depths showed a global reduction of total annual rainfall, with two different trends: more regular for the series observed in the rain gauges within the urbanised area and more variable for the series observed in the rain gauges outside the area. A further analysis has been performed using the series of maximum intensity for fixed duration (1, 3, 6, 12, 24 hrs) and annual daily maxima. The analysis of the trend in the extreme rainfall series has been performed by estimating the maximum rainfall depth corresponding to a fixed return period using the EV1 distribution with parameters estimated using L-moments. The analysis of all series indicates a global reduction of rainfall intensities, both for internal and external series, in disagreement with the results obtained by other authors.

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