Catchment runoff modelling and forecasting

The major hydrological tool at the SMHI is the rainfall-runoff model HBV, which was first developed in the early 1970's, while the latest model version was established during the mid 1990's.

Today, the model is used operationally for hydrological forecasting at the SMHI, in spillway design for the water power industry, in national and international consulting projects, for dam safety, flood risk mapping (combined with MIKE11), estimates of ungauged catchments and pollute transport. The hydrological section at the research department is continuously working with validation, improvements and development of the HBV model.

A new hydrological model, HYPE (Hydrological Predictions for the Environment) has been developed during the past years. The model is primarily aimed at water quality applications, but can also be used as a hydrological model.


  • Bergström, S., Forsman, A. (1973) Development of a conceptual deterministic rainfall-runoff model. Nordic Hydrol., 4, 147-170.
  • Lindström, G., Johansson, B., Persson, M., Gardelin, M., & Bergström, S. (1997) Development and test of the distributed HBV-96 hydrological model. Journal of Hydrology, 201, 272-288.
  • Pers, C., Lindström, G. Rosberg, J., Arheimer, B. & Andersson. L. (2006) Development of a new distributed hydrological model for large-scale and small-scale applications, In: Proceedings of the XXIV Nordic Hydrological Conference 2006, Eds: J.C. Refsgaard and A.L. Höjberg, NHP Report No. 49, 307-314.