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Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 115, Issue 3–4, pp 563–581 | Cite as

Observed spatiotemporal characteristics of drought on various time scales over the Czech Republic

  • Vera PotopEmail author
  • Constanţa Boroneanţ
  • Martin Možný
  • Petr Štěpánek
  • Petr Skalák
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper analyses the observed spatiotemporal characteristics of drought in the Czech Republic during the growing season (April to September) as quantified using the Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) on various time scales. The SPEI was calculated for various lags (1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months) from monthly records of mean temperature and precipitation totals using a dense network of 184 climatological stations for the period 1961–2010. The characteristics of drought were analysed in terms of the temporal evolution of the SPEI, the frequency distribution and duration of drought at the country level, and for three regions delimited by station altitude. The driest and the wettest years during the growing season were identified. The frequency distribution of the SPEI values for seven drought category classes (in per cent) indicates that normal moisture conditions represent approximately 65 % of the total SPEI values for all time scales in all three regions, whereas moderate drought and moderate wet conditions are almost equally distributed around 10.5 %. Differences in extremely dry conditions (5 %) compared with extremely wet conditions (1.5 %) were observed with increasing SPEI time scales. The results of the non-parametric Mann–Kendall trend test applied to the SPEI series indicate prevailing negative trends (drought) at the majority of the stations. The percentage of stations displaying a significant negative trend for the 90, 95, 99, and 99.9 % confidence levels is approximately 40 %. An Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) analysis was used to identify the principal patterns of variability of the SPEI during the growing season that accounted for the highest amount of statistical variance. The variance explained by the leading EOF range 66 to 56 %, whereas for EOF2 and EOF3, the value is between 7 and 11 % and between 4 and 7 %, respectively, for the SPEI is calculated for 1- to 24-month lags.

Keywords

Standardise Precipitation Index Drought Index Palmer Drought Severity Index Standardise Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index Meteorological Drought 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research on drought conditions in the Czech Republic was supported by S grant of MSMT CR and projects 6046070901, LD11041, CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0248, CZ.1.07/2.4.00/31.0056, and CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0073 (CzechGlobe—Centre for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies, Reg. No.) and National Agency for Agriculture Research project Q191C054.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Potop
    • 1
    Email author
  • Constanţa Boroneanţ
    • 2
  • Martin Možný
    • 3
  • Petr Štěpánek
    • 4
  • Petr Skalák
    • 4
  1. 1.Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural ResourcesDepartment of Agroecology and BiometeorologyPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Center for Climate Change, Geography DepartmentUniversity Rovira I VirgiliTortosaSpain
  3. 3.Czech Hydrometeorological InstituteDoksany ObservatoryCzech Republic
  4. 4.Global Change Research Centre AS CRBrnoCzech Republic

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