A comparison of models for estimating potential evapotranspiration for Florida land cover types

Journal of Hydrology
By: , and 



We analyzed observed daily evapotranspiration (DET) at 18 sites having measured DET and ancillary climate data and then used these data to compare the performance of three common methods for estimating potential evapotranspiration (PET): the Turc method (Tc), the Priestley-Taylor method (PT) and the Penman-Monteith method (PM). The sites were distributed throughout the State of Florida and represent a variety of land cover types: open water (3), marshland (4), grassland/pasture (4), citrus (2) and forest (5). Not surprisingly, the highest DET values occurred at the open water sites, ranging from an average of 3.3 mm d-1 in the winter to 5.3 mm d-1 in the spring. DET at the marsh sites was also high, ranging from 2.7 mm d-1 in winter to 4.4 mm d-1 in summer. The lowest DET occurred in the winter and fall seasons at the grass sites (1.3 mm d-1 and 2.0 mm d-1, respectively) and at the forested sites (1.8 mm d-1 and 2.3 mm d-1, respectively). The performance of the three methods when applied to conditions close to PET (Bowen ratio ≤ 1) was used to judge relative merit. Under such PET conditions, annually aggregated Tc and PT methods perform comparably and outperform the PM method, possibly due to the sensitivity of the PM method to the limited transferability of previously determined model parameters. At a daily scale, the PT performance appears to be superior to the other two methods for estimating PET for a variety of land covers in Florida.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A comparison of models for estimating potential evapotranspiration for Florida land cover types
Series title Journal of Hydrology
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.04.029
Volume 373
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Florida Water Science Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Hydrology
First page 366
Last page 376
Country United States
State Florida
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