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Knowledge of extreme precipitation phenomena is of crucial importance to the safety of civil engineering works and for electricity production management in a country of lakes and mountains like Switzerland. In order to study the distribution in space and the evolution of strong rain episodes, the work presented here relies on the complementary approaches of field observation and numerical simulation. The experimental portion of this project relies on a novel, acousticbased, rain metrology instrument. Based on the results, a methodology for the determination of raindrop size distribution (disdrometer facility) and rainfall rate (rain gauge facility) has been developed and is described in the present dissertation. In addition, numerical modelling and simulation methods were developed with the aim of calculating — for a given watershed topography — the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP). The method relies on the separation of the different phenomenological contributions and on the climatic characterization of atmospheric situations leading to extreme rain events. Boundary and initial conditions are represented by theoretical profiles of the wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and water contents, turbulent energy and dissipation rate variables. The numerical model calculates the consequent wind and rain fields within the simulation domain for the desired atmospheric situation. The hydrodynamic code (CFX4) is based on the finite volume approach and is particularly adapted to complex geometries, allowing an excellent representation of the topography. The code is partially open and several specific atmospheric models were implemented. Microphysics schemes considered are Kessler's warm classic scheme (1969) and the Caniaux detailed scheme (1993). The latter includes solid ice particles, aggregates and graupel and allows the simulation of convective as well as orographic cloud system precipitation cycles. Sensitivity studies of the results with respect to the dominant parameters of each situation, lead to a maximisation procedure successfully applied to convective as well as frontal precipitation. The work shows that the maximisation method consisting of maximising severe events into critical events can be more effective than using statistical approaches. Use of this method compensates for the relative lack of measurement facilities in many regions.