Introduction: Mexico uses hydrological models to determine floods, evaluate land use change scenarios, evaluate climate change scenarios, and define federal zones, among other applications. However, the models are rarely calibrated beforehand, which increases uncertainty in the design of structures and hydraulic standards.
Objective: To build a hydrological model for the watershed of the Fuerte River, Mexico, of extreme rainfall events occurred in 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Methodology: Five extreme rainfall events were considered for this study. The hydrologic model was design using the HEC-HMS program, and calibrated at the Tubares hydrometric station. The runoff curve number methodology and the Clark unit hydrograph were used.
Results: The results collected in four of the five events were positive; the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) ranged between 0.22 and 0.52. The temporal behavior of the river, at times when it moved away from the flow value, preserved the variation trend.
Limitations of the study: The study reaches the Tubares hydrometric station, Chihuahua, without including the downstream dams in Sinaloa.
Originality: There are few hydrological studies that generate a calibrated and, therefore, reliable hourly model.
Conclusions: The hourly hydrologic model had an acceptable performance in four of the five predicted events in terms of NSE and root mean square error (RMSE).