Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 35–46

Investigation of temporal and spatial climate variability and aridity of Iran


  • B. Ashraf
    • Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of Mashhad
  • R. Yazdani
    • Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of Mashhad
  • M. Mousavi-Baygi
    • Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of Mashhad
    • Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of Mashhad
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00704-013-1040-8

Cite this article as:
Ashraf, B., Yazdani, R., Mousavi-Baygi, M. et al. Theor Appl Climatol (2014) 118: 35. doi:10.1007/s00704-013-1040-8


The aim of this research is to study the spatial and temporal variability of aridity in Iran, through analysis of temperature and precipitation trends during the 48-year period of 1961–2008. In this study, four different aridity criteria have been used to investigate the aridity situation. These aridity indexes included Lang’s index or rain factor, Budyko index or radiational index of dryness, UNEP aridity index, and Thornthwaite moisture index. The results of the analysis indicated that the highest and lowest mean temperatures occurred in July and January respectively in all locations. Among the study locations, Ahvaz with 37.1 °C and Kermanshah with 20.2 °C has the highest and lowest in July. For January, the highest was 12.4 °C for Ahvaz and the lowest was −4.5 °C for Hamedan and Kermanshah together. The range of monthly mean temperature of study locations indicated that the maximum and minimum difference between day and night temperatures, almost in all study locations, occurred in September and January, respectively, and the highest and lowest fluctuation of temperature was observed in Kerman and Tehran. The temperature anomalies showed that the most significant increasing temperature occurred at the beginning of twenty-first century (2000–2008) in all locations. The long-term mean of monthly rainfall showed that, in most study locations, the maximum and minimum of mean precipitation occurred in winter and summer, respectively. Rasht with 1,355 mm had the highest and Yazd with 55 mm had the lowest of total precipitation compared with other locations. According to precipitation anomalies, all locations experienced dry and wet periods, but generally dry periods occurred more often especially in the beginning of twenty-first century. According to applied different aridity indexes, all the study locations often experienced semi-arid to arid climate, severe water deficit to desert climate, arid to hyperarid climate, and semi-arid climate during the study period.

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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013