Articles | Volume 11, issue 12
Research article
22 Dec 2011
Research article |  | 22 Dec 2011

Analysis of hail damages and temperature series for peninsular Spain

A. Saa Requejo, R. García Moreno, M. C. Díaz Alvarez, F. Burgaz, and M. Tarquis

Abstract. Hail is a serious concern for agriculture on the Iberian Peninsula. Hailstorms affect crop yield and/or quality to a degree that depends on the crop species and the phenological time. In Europe, Spain is one of the countries that experience relatively high agricultural losses related to hailstorms. It is of high interest to study models that can support calculations of the probabilities of economic losses due to hail damage and of the tendency over time for such losses.

Some studies developed in France and the Netherdlands show that the summer mean temperature was highly correlated with a yearly hail severity index developed from hail-related parameters obtained for insurance purposes. Meanwhile, other studies in the USA point out that a highly significant correlation between both is not possible to find due to high climatic variability.

The aim of this work is to test the correlation between average minimum temperatures and hail damage intensity over the Spanish Iberian Peninsula. With this purpose, correlation analyses on both variables were performed for the 47 Spanish provinces (as individuals and single set) and for all crops and four individual crops: grapes, wheat, barley and winter grains. Suitable crop insurance data are available from 1981 until 2007 and based on this period, temperature data were obtained.

This study does not confirm the results previously obtained for France and the Netherlands that relate observed hail damage to the average minimum temperature. The reason for this difference and the nature of the cases observed are discussed.

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