The Xijiang River is a main branch of the Pearl River, the largest river in South China. Droughts in this area have seriously influenced local water resource utilization, and socio-economic development. The spatiotemporal distribution of droughts and its responses to global climatic events are of critical significance for the assessment and early warning of drought disasters. In this paper, the spatiotemporal patterns of droughts characterized by Rotated Empirical Orthogonal Function/Rotated Principal Components (REOF/RPC) in the Xijiang River Basin, China were evaluated using the Self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (Sc-PDSI). The drought responses to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), India Ocean Dipole (IOD), and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) were analysed by Pearson correlation and multiple stepwise regression. The results showed that one year earlier NAO was the dominant factor impacting the droughts in the Xijiang Basin. Its contribution for the RPC2s of the annual, the first and second half years, winter, summer, autumn, and February were −0.556, −0.419, 0.597, −0.447, 0.542, 0.600, and −0.327, respectively. Besides the two adjacent Pacific and India oceans, the droughts seem be influenced by distant Atlantic climatic events. These results offer new reference insights into the early warning of droughts as well as the planning and management of water resources in the study area.
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