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Climate 2015, 3(2), 349-364; doi:10.3390/cli3020349

Statistical Seasonal Rainfall Forecast in the Neuquén River Basin (Comahue Region, Argentina)

1
Research Center of Sea and Atmosphere (CIMA), CONICET/UBA, UMI-IFAECI/CNRS, Buenos Aires C1428EGA, Argentina
2
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, FCEN, University of Buenos Aires, Intendente Guiraldes 2160, Buenos Aires C1428EGA, Argentina 
Academic Editor: Aondover Tarhule
Received: 15 January 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Abstract

A detailed statistical analysis was performed at the Neuquén river basin using precipitation data for 1980–2007. The hydrological year begins in March with a maximum in June associated with rainfall and another relative maximum in October derived from snow-break. General features of the rainy season and the excess or deficits thereof are analyzed using standardized precipitation index (SPI) for a six-month period in the basin. The SPI has a significant cycle of 14.3 years; the most severe excess (SPI greater than 2) has a return period of 25 years, while the most severe droughts (SPI less than −2) have a return period of 10 years. The SPI corresponding to the rainy season (April–September) (SPI9) has no significant trend and is used to classify wet/dry years. In order to establish the previous circulation patterns associated with interannual SPI9 variability, the composite fields of wet and dry years are compared. There is a tendency for wet (dry) periods to take place during El Niño (La Niña) years, when there are positive anomalies of precipitable water over the basin, when the zonal flow over the Pacific Ocean is weakened (intensified) and/or when there are negative pressure anomalies in the southern part of the country and Antarctic sea. Some prediction schemes using multiple linear regressions were performed. One of the models derived using the forward stepwise method explained 42% of the SPI9 variance and retained two predictors related to circulation over the Pacific Ocean: one of them shows the relevance of the intensity of zonal flow in mid-latitudes, and the other is because of the influence of low pressure near the Neuquén River basin. The cross-validation used to prove model efficiency showed a correlation of 0.41 between observed and estimated SPI9; there was a probability of detection of wet (dry) years of 80% (65%) and a false alarm relation of 25% in both cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: seasonal rainfall; statistical prediction; river basin; Argentina seasonal rainfall; statistical prediction; river basin; Argentina
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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González, M.H. Statistical Seasonal Rainfall Forecast in the Neuquén River Basin (Comahue Region, Argentina). Climate 2015, 3, 349-364.

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