Case studies where time of failure is known for rainfall-triggered debris flows can be used to estimate the parameters of a hazard model in which the probability of failure is a function of time. As an example, a time-dependent function for the conditional probability of a soil slip is estimated from independent variables representing hillside morphology, approximations of material properties, and the duration and rate of rainfall. If probabilities are calculated in a GIS (geomorphic information system ) environment, the spatial distribution of the result for any given hour can be displayed on a map. Although the probability levels in this example are uncalibrated, the method offers a potential for evaluating different physical models and different earth-science variables by comparing the map distribution of predicted probabilities with inventory maps for different areas and different storms. If linked with spatial and temporal socio-economic variables, this method could be used for short-term risk assessment.