Original Research

Modelling average maximum daily temperature using r largest order statistics: An application to South African data

Murendeni M. Nemukula, Caston Sigauke
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 10, No 1 | a467 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v10i1.467 | © 2018 Murendeni M. Nemukula, Caston Sigauke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2017 | Published: 02 May 2018

About the author(s)

Murendeni M. Nemukula, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Caston Sigauke, Department of Statistics, University of Venda, South Africa

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Natural hazards (events that may cause actual disasters) are established in the literature as major causes of various massive and destructive problems worldwide. The occurrences of earthquakes, floods and heat waves affect millions of people through several impacts. These include cases of hospitalisation, loss of lives and economic challenges. The focus of this study was on the risk reduction of the disasters that occur because of extremely high temperatures and heat waves. Modelling average maximum daily temperature (AMDT) guards against the disaster risk and may also help countries towards preparing for extreme heat. This study discusses the use of the r largest order statistics approach of extreme value theory towards modelling AMDT over the period of 11 years, that is, 2000–2010. A generalised extreme value distribution for r largest order statistics is fitted to the annual maxima. This is performed in an effort to study the behaviour of the r largest order statistics. The method of maximum likelihood is used in estimating the target parameters and the frequency of occurrences of the hottest days is assessed. The study presents a case study of South Africa in which the data for the non-winter season (September–April of each year) are used. The meteorological data used are the AMDT that are collected by the South African Weather Service and provided by Eskom. The estimation of the shape parameter reveals evidence of a Weibull class as an appropriate distribution for modelling AMDT in South Africa. The extreme quantiles for specified return periods are estimated using the quantile function and the best model is chosen through the use of the deviance statistic with the support of the graphical diagnostic tools. The Entropy Difference Test (EDT) is used as a specification test for diagnosing the fit of the models to the data.


entropy difference test; extreme value theory; heat waves; r largest order statistics; temperature


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