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Effects of temperature anomalies on the Palmer Drought Severity Index in the central United States

International Journal of Climatology

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of temperature and precipitation effects on the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). Both theoretical and observational analyses were applied to separate and compare temperature and precipitation effects on PDSI. The results showed that because of the dependence of PDSI on the 'climatologically appropriate rainfall', which is a function of time and varies with surface air temperature, the PDSI can be equally affected by temperature and precipitation, when both have similar magnitudes of anomalies. Calculations using observational data further illustrated the temperature influence on PDSI in different climate regions in the central United States. The temperature effect on PDSI complicates the usage of the index in interpreting precipitation anomalies and its application in inferring precipitation variations, particularly from reconstructed PDSI.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effects of temperature anomalies on the Palmer Drought Severity Index in the central United States
Series title:
International Journal of Climatology
Volume
20
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
p. 1899-1911
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1899
Last page:
1911
Number of Pages:
12