Abstract: Torrential rains are a frequent meteorological risk in the Mediterranean Basin, and the work reported here is part of a long-term study that includes the analysis of the synoptic conditions involved in their genesis. This paper studies the role of SST in torrential rain development. Two episodes were selected for simulation with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. Three runs of each were performed by progressively improving the SST input data sources: from monthly climatological averages, to data from the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project, to near-to-real-time data derived from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite images. For the ?rst episode, the maximum total precipitations calculated were 242, 301, and 496 mm, respectively, versus more than 550 mm measured. For the second event, the maxima were 316, 349, and 378 mm, respectively, versus more than 450 mm measured. The conclusion is that signi?cant improvements in the modeling of peak precipitation can be expected when using SST derived from NOAA satellite data.