Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1493–1501, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-12-1493-2012

Special issue: 2nd International Conference on Ecohydrology and Climate...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1493–1501, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-12-1493-2012

Research article 16 May 2012

Research article | 16 May 2012

Spatial and temporal variability of precipitation and drought in Portugal

D. S. Martins1, T. Raziei1,2, A. A. Paulo1,3, and L. S. Pereira1 D. S. Martins et al.
  • 1CEER-Biosystems Engineering, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
  • 3Escola Superior Agrária de Santarém, Portugal

Abstract. The spatial variability of precipitation and drought are investigated for Portugal using monthly precipitation from 74 stations and minimum and maximum temperature from 27 stations, covering the common period of 1941–2006. Seasonal precipitation and the corresponding percentages in the year, as well as the precipitation concentration index (PCI), was computed for all 74 stations and then used as an input matrix for an R-mode principal component analysis to identify the precipitation patterns. The standardized precipitation index at 3 and 12 month time scales were computed for all stations, whereas the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and the modified PDSI for Mediterranean conditions (MedPDSI) were computed for the stations with temperature data. The spatial patterns of drought over Portugal were identified by applying the S-mode principal component analysis coupled with varimax rotation to the drought indices matrices. The result revealed two distinct sub-regions in the country relative to both precipitation regimes and drought variability. The analysis of time variability of the PC scores of all drought indices allowed verifying that there is no linear trend indicating drought aggravation or decrease. In addition, the analysis shows that results for SPI-3, SPI-12, PDSI and MedPDSI are coherent among them.

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