Publication: Analyzing Drought Periods with Expanded Meteorological Data based on NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis products in the Maipo Basin, Central Chile
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Year: 2014 ISBN:
Language: InglƩs External Link: ...
Type: Abstract
Droughts are an increasingly common phenomenon that cause significant economic losses and affect the functioning of local ecosystems. The need to better monitor drought and study changes in their main properties is important for disaster risk management. Many indices have been used to characterize drought patterns, like time periods, which include different weather variables that are combined into a single value representative of current or past hydrological status. The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) corresponds to one of these indicators, which is based on a water balance approach and facilitates the analysis of droughts to determine their wet and dry periods in a defined time scale. This index has been used to characterize recent dry periods in areas where the temperature has increased, becoming a powerful tool for managing water resources. The main objective of this work is to apply the SPEI and study its trends over the last sixty years as well as to describe the relationship with El NiƱo in ten meteorological stations in the Maipo basin. To homogenize the length of insufficient records, these stations were expanded with a new estimation method that uses data based on Reanalysis NCEP / NCAR models. Consistent data base of temperature and precipitation for the region was generated from the 1950 on. The results show a good correlation of historical events associated with rainy years or long droughts periods with the information provided by the SPEI, and also with those of El NiƱo for all the meteorological stations analyzed. We noted that the occurrence of dry conditions of different magnitude has increased over the last decades, and the duration of extreme climatic events has slightly increased as well. These results show consistency with future climate projections and represent a major challenge for water resources planning.
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