Date: 18 Apr 2007

Influence of climate variation on seasonal precipitation in the Colorado River Basin

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Abstract

This study analyzed the influence of large-scale climate pattern on precipitation in the Colorado River Basin. Large-scale climatic oscillations, like ENSO, PDO, NAO, and the global warming trend are associated with regional hydrologic variation. Ten types of climate indices were gathered and analyzed to investigate their influence on seasonal precipitation variation in the basin based on a linear correlation analysis and an influence index analysis. The influence index was developed in this study to measure the effect of climate variation on the seasonal precipitation in the basin. The statistical evidence achieved in this study confirms that the Colorado River Basin is subjected to the phase of climate variation. The strength of the seasonal response of precipitation to the climate variation varies in different localities in the basin. The methods of analysis used in this study were proposed in the hope that progress in understanding and modeling dynamic climatic systems can result in developing a valuable long-term forecasting model for water resources management.