An evaluation of persistent meteorological drought using a homogeneous Island of Ireland precipitation network
journal contributionposted on 20.10.2015 by Robert Wilby, Simon Noone, Conor Murphy, Tom Matthews, Shaun Harrigan, Ciaran Broderick
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This paper investigates the spatial and temporal properties of persistent meteorological droughts using the homogeneous Island of Ireland Precipitation (IIP) network. Relative to a 1961–1990 baseline period it is shown that the longest observed run of below average precipitation since the 1850s lasted up to 5 years (10 half-year seasons) at sites in southeast and east Ireland, or 3 years across the network as a whole. Dry spell and wet spell length distributions were represented by a first-order Markov model which yields realistic runs of below average rainfall for individual sites and IIP series. This model shows that there is relatively high likelihood (p = 0.125) of a 5-year dry spell at Dublin, and that near unbroken dry runs of 10 years or more are conceivable. We suggest that the IIP network and attendant rainfall deficit modelling provide credible data for stress testing water supply and drought plans under extreme conditions.
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment