Sometimes a hydrologist may need to know what the chances are over a given time period that a flood will reach or exceed a specific magnitude. This is called the probability of occurrence or the exceedance probability.
Let’s say the value “p” is the exceedance probability, in any given year. The exceedance probability may be formulated simply as the inverse of the return period. For example, for a two-year return period the exceedance probability in any given year is one divided by two = 0.5, or 50 percent. Continue reading