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Rainfall and Temperature in the Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa: Means, Variations, and Trends from 1979 to 2013

by 1,2 and 2,*,†
1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, South Dakota State University, Crothers Engineering Hall, Brookings, SD 570006, USA
2
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, 1400 North Campus Drive, Brookings, SD 57006, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, 9335 Hazard Way, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92123, USA.
Water 2018, 10(4), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040364
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
Understanding temporal and spatial characteristics of regional climate is essential for decision making in water resource management. Established statistical and GIS techniques were used to evaluate annual and seasonal variations of rainfall and temperature in time and space from 1979 to 2013 in the Limpopo River Basin (LRB). Annual means of rainfall in the LRB varied between 160 and 1109 mm, generally from west to east of the basin during the study period. Annual minimum and maximum temperature ranged from 8 °C in the south to 20 °C in the east of the basin, and 23 °C in the south of the basin to 32 °C in the east. The respective coefficients of variation (CVs) of these variables showed an inverse pattern to the annual values, with rainfall having high CV values (28% to 70% from east to west of the basin) compared to temperature CV values. Seasonal variations followed similar patterns as annual variations for the individual variables examined. Trend analysis showed upward trends for both annual and seasonal rainfall in most parts of the basin, except for the winter season which showed a decreasing trend. Analysis of minimum temperature on an annual basis and for the winter season and spring season shows upward trends during the study period over the whole basin while minimum temperature for summer and autumn showed decreasing trends. Maximum temperature, by contrast, showed decreasing trends on an annual, summer, autumn, and spring basis but an increasing trend for winter during the study period in most parts of the basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: statistical significance; trend analysis; watershed hydrology; water availability; semi-arid region statistical significance; trend analysis; watershed hydrology; water availability; semi-arid region
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mosase, E.; Ahiablame, L. Rainfall and Temperature in the Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa: Means, Variations, and Trends from 1979 to 2013. Water 2018, 10, 364. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040364

AMA Style

Mosase E, Ahiablame L. Rainfall and Temperature in the Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa: Means, Variations, and Trends from 1979 to 2013. Water. 2018; 10(4):364. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040364

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mosase, Esther, and Laurent Ahiablame. 2018. "Rainfall and Temperature in the Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa: Means, Variations, and Trends from 1979 to 2013" Water 10, no. 4: 364. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040364

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