One of the possible consequences of global warming is that there will be more days with precipitation throughout the year, and also that the level of precipitation will be higher. In this paper a detailed statistical analysis of a century of daily precipitation levels is provided for the central meteorological station in the Netherlands. This paper shows that the often-considered gamma distribution does not fit well to samples of yearly data. It is argued that its incorrect use can lead to spuriously high probabilities of extreme precipitation levels. Relying on advanced nonparametric techniques, it is first found that there are fewer rainy days in the central part of the Netherlands. Next, more rainy days involve higher precipitation levels. Most importantly, no statistically significant shift is found in the annual largest values of daily rainfall over the course of the century, which suggest that the probability of extremely high levels has not changed over time.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3576.1, hdl.handle.net/1765/60335
Journal Journal of Climate
Citation
Koning, A.J, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2005). Are precipitation levels getting higher? Statistical evidence for the Netherlands. Journal of Climate, 18(22), 4701–4714. doi:10.1175/JCLI3576.1