A model developed for estimating the evaporation of rainfall intercepted by forest canopies is applied to estimate measurements of the average runoff from the roofs of six houses made in a previous study of hydrological processes in an urban environment. The model is applied using values of the mean rates of wet canopy evaporation and rainfall derived previously for forests and an estimate of the roof storage capacity derived from the data collected in the previous study. Although the model prediction is sensitive to the value of storage capacity, close correlation between the modelled and measured runoff indicates that the model captures the essential processes. It is concluded that the process of evaporation from an urban roof is sufficiently similar to that from a forest canopy for forest evaporation models to be used to give a useful estimate of urban roof runoff. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.