Coastal spaces exploited for tourism tend to be developed rapidly and with a desire to maximise profit, leading to diverse environmental problems, including flooding. As the origin of flood events is usually associated with intense precipitation episodes, this study considers the general rainfall characteristics of tourist resorts in two islands of the Canary Archipelago (Spain). Days of intense rainfall were determined using the 99th percentile (99p) of 8 daily precipitation data series. In addition, the weather types that generated these episodes were identified, the best-fitting distribution functions were determined to allow calculation of probable maximum daily precipitation for different return periods, and the territorial and economic consequences of flood events were analysed. The results show highly irregular rainfall, with 99p values ranging 50–80 mm. The weather types associated with 49 days of flooding events were predominantly cyclonic and hybrid cyclonic. The Log Pearson III distribution function best fitted the data series, with a strong likelihood in a 100-year return period of rainfall exceeding 100 mm in a 24 h period. However, values below 30 mm have already resulted in significant flood damage, while intense rainfall events in the period 1998–2016 saw over 11.5 million euros paid out in damages for insured goods. Such flood-induced damages were found to be caused more by inadequate urban planning than by rainfall intensity.
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