Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 91, Issue 1–4, pp 99–116 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal patterns of dry spell lengths in the Iberian Peninsula for the second half of the twentieth century

  • X. Lana
  • M. D. Martínez
  • A. Burgueño
  • C. Serra
  • J. Martín-Vide
  • L. Gómez


Daily pluviometric records of 43 meteorological stations across the Iberian Peninsula have permitted a detailed analysis of dry spell patterns for the period 1951–2000 by distinguishing daily amount thresholds of 0.1, 1.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mm/day. The analyses are based on three annual series, namely the number of dry spells, N, the average dry spell length, L, and the extreme dry spell length, L max. First, the statistical significance of local trends for the annual series of N, L and L max has been investigated by means of the Mann-Kendall test and significant field trends have been established by means of Monte Carlo simulations. Clear signs of negative field trends are detected for N (1.0 and 10.0 mm/day) and L (0.1 mm/day). Second, the Weibull model fits well the empirical distributions of dry spell lengths for all the rain gauges, whatever the daily amount threshold, with a well ranged spatial distribution of their parameters u and k. On the basis of the Weibull distribution, return period maps for 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 years have been obtained for dry spell lengths with respect to the four daily threshold levels. While for 0.1 and 1.0 mm/day the longest dry spells are expected at the south of the Iberian Peninsula, for 5.0 and 10.0 mm/day they are mostly detected at the southeast. Finally, the elapsed time between consecutive dry spells has been analysed by considering the same rain amount thresholds and different dry spell lengths at increasing intervals of 10 days. This analysis makes evident a significant negative field trend of the elapsed time between consecutive dry spells of lengths ranging from 10 to 20 days for daily amount thresholds of 1.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mm/day.


Return Period Iberian Peninsula Weibull Distribution Rain Gauge Weibull Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. Lana
    • 1
  • M. D. Martínez
    • 2
  • A. Burgueño
    • 3
  • C. Serra
    • 1
  • J. Martín-Vide
    • 4
  • L. Gómez
    • 4
  1. 1.Departament de Física i Enginyeria NuclearUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Física AplicadaUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de Meteorologia i AstronomiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Grup de ClimatologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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