The time evolution of edge localized modes ( ELMs ) in the Joint European Torus tokamak [ P. H. Rebut and et al. , Nucl. Fusion 25 , 1011 ( 1985 )] is investigated using the JETTO predictive modeling code [ M. Erba and et al. , Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 39 , 261 ( 1997 )] . It is found that both pressure-driven ballooning and current-driven peeling modes can play a role in triggering the ELM crashes. In the simulations carried out, each large ELM consists of a sequence of quasicontinuous small ELM crashes. Each sequence of ELM crashes is separated from the next sequence by a relatively longer ELM-free period. The initial crash in each ELM sequence can be triggered either by a pressure-driven ballooning mode or by a current-driven peeling mode, while the subsequent crashes within that sequence are triggered by current-driven peeling modes, which are made more unstable by the reduction in the pressure gradient resulting from the initial crash. The HELENA and MISHKA ideal magnetohydrodynamic stability codes [ A. B. Mikhailovskii and et al. , Plasma Phys. Rep. 23 , 713 ( 1997 )] are used to validate the stability criteria used in the JETTO simulations. This stability analysis includes infinite- n ideal ballooning, finite- n ballooning, and low- n kink/peeling modes.