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Spatial and temporal variability of precipitation in Serbia for the period 1961–2010


Monthly, seasonal and annual sums of precipitation in Serbia were analysed in this paper for the period 1961–2010. Latitude, longitude and altitude of 421 precipitation stations and terrain features in their close environment (slope and aspect of terrain within a radius of 10 km around the station) were used to develop a regression model on which spatial distribution of precipitation was calculated. The spatial distribution of annual, June (maximum values for almost all of the stations) and February (minimum values for almost all of the stations) precipitation is presented. Annual precipitation amounts ranged from 500 to 600 mm to over 1100 mm. June precipitation ranged from 60 to 140 mm and February precipitation from 30 to 100 mm. The validation results expressed as root mean square error (RMSE) for monthly sums ranged from 3.9 mm in October (7.5% of the average precipitation for this month) to 6.2 mm in April (10.4%). For seasonal sums, RMSE ranged from 10.4 mm during autumn (6.1% of the average precipitation for this season) to 20.5 mm during winter (13.4%). On the annual scale, RMSE was 68 mm (9.5% of the average amount of precipitation). We further analysed precipitation trends using Sen’s estimation, while the Mann-Kendall test was used for testing the statistical significance of the trends. For most parts of Serbia, the mean annual precipitation trends fell between −5 and +5 and +5 and +15 mm/decade. June precipitation trends were mainly between −8 and +8 mm/decade. February precipitation trends generally ranged from −3 to +3 mm/decade.

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This paper presents the results of research on Project III 47007 funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD—funding programme 50015559), Germany.

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Correspondence to Boško Milovanović.

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Milovanović, B., Schuster, P., Radovanović, M. et al. Spatial and temporal variability of precipitation in Serbia for the period 1961–2010. Theor Appl Climatol 130, 687–700 (2017).

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  • Root Mean Square Error
  • Digital Elevation Model
  • Mean Absolute Error
  • Precipitation Station
  • Mountainous Terrain