Analyzing spatial patterns of meteorological drought using Standardized Precipitation Index

Meteorological Applications (Impact Factor: 1.34). 12/2007; 14(4):329 - 336. DOI: 10.1002/met.33


Drought is a slow-onset, creeping natural hazard and a recurrent phenomenon in the arid and semi-arid regions of Gujarat (India). In Asia, the standardized precipitation index (SPI) has gained wider acceptance in the detection and the estimation of the intensity, magnitude and spatial extent of droughts. The main advantage of the SPI, in comparison with other indices, is that the SPI enables both determination of drought conditions at different time scales and monitoring of different drought types. This index captures the accumulated deficit (SPI < 0) or surplus (SPI > 0) of precipitation over a specified period, and provides a normalized measure (i.e. spatially invariant Z score) of relative precipitation anomalies at multiple time scales. In the present study, monthly time series of rainfall data (1981–2003) from 160 stations were used to derive SPI, particularly at 3-month time scales. This 3-month SPI was interpolated to depict spatial patterns of meteorological drought and its severity during typical drought and wet years. Correlation analysis was also done to evaluate usefulness of SPI to quantify effects of drought on food grain productivity. Further, time series of SPI were exploited to assess the drought risk in Gujarat. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society

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Available from: Patel N. R., Oct 03, 2014
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    • "The importance of climate for crop production is well recognized, and an increasing number of studies have also examined this relationship in South Asia (Parthasarathy et al., 1988; Kumar and Panu, 1997; Zubair, 2002; Selvaraju , 2003; Krishna Kumar et al., 2004; Patel et al., 2007; Welch et al., 2010; Subash and Ram Mohan, 2011; Sarker et al., 2012; Osborne and Wheeler, 2013). Many of the studies have however been limited to the national scale (Parthasarathy et al., 1988; Selvaraju, 2003; Krishna Kumar et al., 2004; Sarker et al., 2012; Osborne and Wheeler, 2013) or to specific provinces or states (Kumar and Panu, 1997; Patel et al., 2007) and focused only on monsoon season precipitation. In this article, we aim to contribute to the discussion on the use of drought indices in assessing climate impacts on rice yield variation by conducting a spatially explicit analysis for the GBM region. "
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    ABSTRACT: Climate variability has major impacts on crop yields and food production in South Asia. The spatial differences of the impact are not, however, well understood. In this study, we thus aim to analyse the spatio-temporal relationship between precipitation and rice yields in the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna region. The effects of rainfall variation on yields were analysed with regression models using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as an explanatory variable. Our results indicate that in large part of the study region, a strong relationship between precipitation and rice yields exists and the SPI at various lags chosen as the predictor variable performed well in describing the inter-annual yield variability. However, the study demonstrated large spatial variations in the strength of this relationship or optionally in the suitability of the chosen methodology for investigating it. In the mid-plains of the Ganges, which represent very important agricultural areas, precipitation variability has a strong impact on rice yields, while in downstream Ganges as well as in Brahmaputra, where precipitation is more abundant, the relationship was less pronounced. Where the performance of the regression models was weaker, it is likely that yield variation depended on other factors such as management practices or on other climate factors such as temperature. The results further showed that the SPI at 1, 3, 6 and 12 month lags calculated for the monsoon time (June–October) are most commonly the best at explaining the rice yield variability. The SPI can thus be considered a very useful predictor of rice yield variability in some parts of the study region, demonstrating that they could be used for agricultural applications and policy decisions to improve the region's food security.
    International Journal of Climatology 09/2015; DOI:10.1002/joc.4489 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    • "On the other hand, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a very useful tool as well as an index to monitor meteorological drought which is exclusively based on precipitation data. According to McKee et al. (1993, 1995), SPI gives an easy and flexible way to monitor drought at a different scale (Table 2) ranging from near normal (À0.99) to extreme drought condition (<À2.0) and it has been recommended by various studies for its suitability to estimate meteorological drought at different time lag (Guttman, 1998; Patel et al., 2007; Kumar et al., 2009, 2012; Quiring and Ganesh, 2010; Poonia and Rao, 2012; Dutta et al., 2013; Zhang and Jia, 2013; Belayneh et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Owing to its severe effect on productivity of rain-fed crops and indirect effect on employment as well as per capita income, agricultural drought has become a prime concern worldwide. The occurrence of drought is mainly a climatic phenomenon which cannot be eliminated. However, its effects can be reduced if actual spatio-temporal information related to crop status is available to the decision makers. The present study attempts to assess the efficiency of remote sensing and GIS techniques for monitoring the spatio-temporal extent of agricultural drought. In the present study, NOAA-AVHRR NDVI data were used for monitoring agricultural drought through NDVI based Vegetation Condition Index. VCI was calculated for whole Rajasthan using the long term NDVI images which reveals the occurrence of drought related crop stress during the year 2002. The VCI values of normal (2003) and drought (2002) year were compared with meteorological based Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Rainfall Anomaly Index and Yield Anomaly Index and a good agreement was found among them. The correlation coefficient between VCI and yield of major rain-fed crops (r > 0.75) also supports the efficiency of this remote sensing derived index for assessing agricultural drought.
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    • "Vicente-Serrano (2006) performed spatial and temporal analysis of droughts using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) on the Iberian Peninsula for 1910–2000, and identified the principal drought episodes. Patel et al. (2007) analyzed the spatial patterns of meteorological drought using SPI and quantified the effects of drought on food grain productivity. "
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    ABSTRACT: The evaluation of meteorological and hydrological drought characteristics including the dry spell analysis for planning of supplemental irrigation has been carried out for Bearma basin in Bundelkhand region of Central India. The Bundelkhand region has been under a spell of recurrent droughts. In the last decade, widespread droughts were felt during 2002-03 and 2007-08. The drought frequency varies between 1 in 3 years in Rehli and Deori to 1 in 5 years in Hatta. Rehli and Deori blocks falling in Sagar district have been identified to be drought prone. The meteorological drought characteristics evaluated by Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) indicated that drought severity has increased greatly with the drought intensity varying between -1.22 in Deori to -0.97 in Rehli. The stream flow drought characteristics have been evaluated using Stream flow Drought Index (SDI) whereas the groundwater drought characteristics evaluated by Groundwater Drought Index (GDI). The maximum groundwater drought intensity is observed in Rehli (-0.44). Two critical dry spells (CDS) of 14 to 18 days invariably occur during the principal rainy months of July and August, for which provision of life saving supplementary irrigation is essential for the rainfed agriculture. A drought management plan (DMP) has been developed, based on basin relevant drought indicators and drought triggers, designed and fined tuned to actual drought conditions in the basin. Based on the supply and demand scenario during droughts, an appropriate drought response plan linked to prevailing drought levels have been developed, to effectively manage the scarce water resources during persistent drought scenario. Results of the study is quite promising and the concept of DMP can be replicated to other basins in the region taking into account the basin relevant indicators as necessary.
    Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 12/2014; 127(2). DOI:10.1007/s00703-014-0361-1 · 1.05 Impact Factor
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