Articles | Volume 17, issue 7
Research article
07 Jul 2017
Research article |  | 07 Jul 2017

PREGRIDBAL 1.0: towards a high-resolution rainfall atlas for the Balearic Islands (1950–2009)

Toni López Mayol, Víctor Homar, Climent Ramis, and José Antonio Guijarro

Abstract. This work presents a catalog of daily precipitation fields in the Balearic Islands created with data from AEMET (State Meteorological Agency) assistant observations, including records from 1912. The original digital daily data file has been interpolated onto a regular 100 m-resolution grid (namely PREGRIDBAL), defined with the aim of becoming a valid standard for future methodological improvements and catalog upgrades. Daily precipitation amounts on each grid point are calculated using an analysis method based on ordinary kriging, using the daily anomaly with respect to the annual mean for all available observations each day. Due to quality concerns, the time span for products derived from the catalog is limited to the 1950–2009 period, when the number of operating stations reached 200. Therefore, from the time series of daily maps, monthly-, annual-, quinquennial-, and decadal-accumulations are produced. Similarly, the catalog allowed for quantification of climate trends in rainfall amounts in the Balearic Islands, with the significant advantage of minimizing the biases originated from heterogeneities in the spatial distribution of stations across the archipelago.

Results show a general decrease in precipitation during the 1950–2009 period. From 1950 to 1979, the average annual precipitation across the islands was 624.3 mm, while from 1980 to 2009 it diminished to 555.36 mm. Changes in precipitation patterns, which vary among the different areas, are also detected. The most significant reductions are found in the northern half of the archipelago and especially in Mallorca, where the Tramuntana mountain range stands out. All seasonal trends show a decrease, with values ranging between 1 and 3 mm decade−1, with the exception of autumn, which reaches a positive trend up to 7 mm decade−1. October shows the most dramatic decrease (−10. 34 mm decade−1) and, conversely, September and November show an increase in precipitation (3.28 and 1.82 mm decade−1, respectively) with a statistical significance above 85 % across almost the entire archipelago, and even exceeding 95 % in Eivissa and Formentera.

Short summary
This paper presents a very high-resolution atlas of daily precipitations across the Balearic Islands. The generation of this data set not only allows us to lay the groundwork for future updates ingesting a myriad of observation sources but also aims to provide support to local and network–topology independent studies of precipitation–sensitive systems such as ecosystems, water resources and energy systems. As an example, a better understanding of the negative precipitation trends is found.
Final-revised paper