Articles | Volume 11, issue 12
Research article
09 Dec 2011
Research article |  | 09 Dec 2011

Trends in indices of daily precipitation extremes in Catalonia (NE Spain), 1951–2003

M. Turco and M. C. Llasat

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to quantitatively characterize the climatology of daily precipitation indices in Catalonia (northeastern Iberian Peninsula) from 1951 to 2003. This work has been performed analyzing a subset of the ETCCDI (Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices) precipitation indices calculated from a new interpolated dataset of daily precipitation, namely SPAIN02, regular at 0.2° horizontal resolution (around 20 km) and from two high-quality stations: the Ebro and Fabra observatories.

Using a jack-knife technique, we have found that the sampling error of the SPAIN02 regional averaged is relatively low. The trend analysis has been implemented using a Circular Block Bootstrap procedure applicable to non-normal distributions and autocorrelated series. A running trend analysis has been applied to analyze the trend persistence. No general trends at a regional scale are observed, considering the annual or the seasonal regional averaged series of all the indices for all the time windows considered. Only the consecutive dry days index (CDD) at annual scale shows a locally coherent spatial trend pattern; around 30% of the Catalonia area has experienced an increase of around 2–3 days decade−1. The Ebro and Fabra observatories show a similar CDD trend, mainly due to the summer contribution. Besides this, a significant decrease in total precipitation (around −10 mm decade−1) and in the index "highest precipitation amount in five-day period" (RX5DAY, around −5 mm decade−1), have been found in summer for the Ebro observatory.