The estimation of the design peak discharge is crucial for the hydrological design of hydraulic structures. A commonly used approach is to estimate the design storm through the intensity–duration–area–frequency (IDAF) curves and then use it to generate the design discharge through a hydrological model. In ungauged areas, IDAF curves and design discharges are derived throughout regionalization studies, if any exist for the area of interest, or from using the hydrological information of the closest and most similar gauged place. However, many regions around the globe remain ungauged or are very poorly gauged. In this regard, a unique opportunity is provided by satellite precipitation products developed and improved in the last decades. In this paper, we show weaknesses and potentials of satellite data and, for the first time, we evaluate their applicability for design purposes. We employ CMORPH—Climate Prediction Center MORPHing technique satellite precipitation estimates to build IDAF curves and derive the design peak discharges for the Pietrarossa dam catchment in southern Italy. Results are compared with the corresponding one provided by a regionalization study, i.e., VAPI—VAlutazione delle Piene in Italia project, usually used in Italy in ungauged areas. Results show that CMORPH performed well for the estimation of low duration and small return periods storm events, while for high return period storms, further research is still needed.
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