Spatio-temporal variability of droughts in the North Pacific Basin of México (1961-2010)

L. Serrano-Barrios, S. M. Vicente-Serrano, H. Flores-Magdaleno, L. Tijerina-Chávez, D. Vázquez-Soto


This article analyses the spatio-temporal variability of droughts in the North Pacific Basin of México between 1961 and 2010, using two drought indices: the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). We used data from 48 weather stations with available data of precipitation and monthly minimum and maximum temperature. In 22 of the weather stations, time series of Piché evaporation were also available. The reference evapotranspiration, necessary to obtain the SPEI, was calculated by means of the Hargreaves equation. Results show that major droughts occurred in the 1980s and 2000s, although there is a noticeable spatial variability across the region. Finally, the potential impact of the atmospheric evaporative demand on drought severity observed by the different drought indices is discussed, and the possible implications for an appropriate risk assessment.


Drought; Standardized Precipitation Index; Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index; temporal evolution; spatial differences; trends


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