Spatial patterns and temporal trends of precipitation in Iran
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Spatial patterns of monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation over Iran and the corresponding long-term trends for the period 1951–2009 are investigated using the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre gridded dataset. Results suggest that the spatial patterns of annual, winter and spring precipitation and the associated coefficients of variation reflect the role of orography and latitudinal extent between central-southern arid and semi-arid regions and northern and western mountainous areas. It is also shown that precipitation occurrence is almost regularly distributed within the year in northern areas while it is more concentrated in a few months in southern Iran. The spatial distribution of Mann–Kendal trend test (Z statistics) for annual precipitation showed downward trend in north-western and south-eastern Iran, whereas western, central and north-eastern exhibited upward trend, though not statistically significant in most regions. Results for winter and autumn revealed upward trend in most parts of the country, with the exception of north-western and south-eastern where a downward trend is observed; in spring and summer, a downward trend seems to prevail in most of Iran. However, for all seasons the areas where the detected trend is statistically significant are limited to a few spot regions. The overall results suggest that the precipitation is decreasing in spring and summer and increasing in autumn and winter in most of Iran, i.e. less precipitation during the warm season with a consequent intensification of seasonality and dryness of the country. However, since the detected trends are often not statistically significant, any stringent conclusion cannot be done on the future tendencies.
KeywordsPrecipitation Occurrence Global Precipitation Climatology Centre Significant Downward Trend Precipitation Concentration Index Western Mountainous Area
The GPCC data were freely provided by the Deutscher Wetterdienst through their Web site http://www.dwd.de.
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