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Open AccessArticle

An Investigation into the Spatial and Temporal Variability of the Meteorological Drought in Jordan

Doctoral School of Environmental Science, University of Szeged, Szeged 6720, Hungary
Department of Land Management and Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, The Hashemite University, Zarqa 13133, Jordan
Department of Physical Geography and Geo-informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged 6720, Hungary
Economics of Water and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, School of Agriculture, the University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(6), 82;
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Local to Global Precipitation Dynamics and Climate Interaction)
Following the impact of droughts witnessed during the last decade there is an urgent need to develop a drought management strategy, policy framework, and action plan for Jordan. This study aims to provide a historical baseline using the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and meteorological drought maps, and to investigate the spatial and temporal trends using long-term historical precipitation records. Specifically, this study is based on the statistical analysis of 38 years of monthly rainfall data, gathered from all 29 meteorological stations that cover Jordan. The Mann–Kendall test and linear regression analysis were used to uncover evidence of long-term trends in precipitation. Drought indices were used for calculating the meteorological SPI on an annual (SPI12), 6-months (SPI6), and 3-months basis (SPI3). At each level, every drought event was characterized according to its duration, interval, and intensity. Then, drought maps were generated using interpolation kriging to investigate the spatial extent of drought events, while drought patterns were temporally characterized using multilinear regression and spatial grouped using the hierarchical clustering technique. Both annual and monthly trend analyses and the Mann–Kendall test indicated significant reduction of precipitation in time for all weather stations except for Madaba. The rate of decrease is estimated at approximately 1.8 mm/year for the whole country. The spatial SPI krig maps that were generated suggest the presence of two drought types in the spatial dimension: Local and national. Local droughts reveal no actual observed trends or repeatable patterns of occurrence. However, looking at meteorological droughts across all time scales indicated that Jordan is facing an increasing number of local droughts. With a probability of occurrence of once every two years to three years. On the other hand, extreme national droughts occur once every 15 to 20 years and last for two or more consecutive years. Linear trends indicated significant increase in drought magnitude by time with a rate of 0.02 (p < 0.0001). Regression analysis indicated that draught in Jordan is time dependent (p < 0.001) rather than being spatially dependent (p > 0.99). Hierarchical clustering was able to group national draughts into three zones, namely the northern zone, the eastern zone, and the southern zone. This study highlights the urgent need for a monitoring program to investigate local and national drought impacts on all sectors, as well as the development of a set of proactive risk management measures and preparedness plans for various physiographic regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: standard precipitation index (SPI); characterization; drought; assessment; DrinC software standard precipitation index (SPI); characterization; drought; assessment; DrinC software
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Aladaileh, H.; Al Qinna, M.; Karoly, B.; Al-Karablieh, E.; Rakonczai, J. An Investigation into the Spatial and Temporal Variability of the Meteorological Drought in Jordan. Climate 2019, 7, 82.

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