4 years ago

Spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall and drought characteristics across the Pearl River basin

Spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall and drought characteristics across the Pearl River basin
Understanding rainfall trends as well as drought characteristics plays a key role in watershed development and management. In this study, the spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall and drought based on temperature and precipitation data observed in 48 meteorological stations from 1959 to 2012 across the Pearl River Basin in China were analyzed. The possible influence of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and El Nino Modoki (ENSO_M) events on seasonal drought based on the Standardized Precipitation-evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) were also investigated. The results show that annual and seasonal rainfall decreased slightly in most areas, annual and seasonal daily precipitation concentration decreased in a few areas, monthly rainfall had an irregular distribution but with no significant trend detected, and rainfall seasonality increased in most areas. Drought tended to worsen during recent years, especially in the upper reaches, and seasonal drought also tended to become serious or occurred frequently across the Pearl River Basin. The drought patterns are not only related to the decreasing trends in rainfall but also to changes in the daily rainfall concentration, monthly rainfall heterogeneity, and rainfall seasonality. Both ENSO and ENSO_M events had an influence on summer drought in the middle-upper reaches. The ENSO events dominated the patterns of autumn drought in the Pearl River Delta, and the ENSO_M events strongly affected the changing patterns of autumn drought in the middle-upper reaches and northern parts of the middle-lower reaches.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0048969717330589

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