Water Resources Management

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 273–296 | Cite as

Spatial Variability of Drought: An Analysis of the SPI in Sicily

  • B. Bonaccorso
  • I. Bordi
  • A. Cancelliere
  • G. Rossi
  • A. Sutera
Article

Abstract

An analysis of drought in Sicily from 1926 to 1996 is presented.In identifying drought over the region, both the NCEP/NCARreanalysis precipitation data and those observed in 43 gauges,located quite uniformly over the territory of the Island, areused. Drought occurrence is estimated by means of theStandardized Precipitation Index (SPI). To study long-termdrought variability, a Principal Component Analysis was appliedto the SPI field.Results suggest that the entire Island is characterised by adrought variability with a multi-year fluctuations and atendency towards drier periods from the seventies onward. Apreliminary comparison between results obtained using themeteorological large-scale analysis and that derived from actualobservations on the ground shows a general good agreement,although further efforts are needed to get a better downscalingof the large-scale precipitation fields. Furthermore, byapplying orthogonal rotations to the principal componentpatterns, it has been found that three distinct areas havingcoherent climatic variability may be identified.Finally, the sensitivity of the SPI values on the calibrationperiod is also investigated.

drought analysis NCEP/NCAR reanalysis precipitationdata Principal Component Analysis Sicily StandardizedPrecipitation Index 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Bonaccorso
    • 1
  • I. Bordi
    • 2
  • A. Cancelliere
    • 2
  • G. Rossi
    • 2
  • A. Sutera
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Rome `La Sapienza'RomeItaly

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