Precipitation trends and a daily precipitation concentration index for the mid-Eastern Atlantic (Canary Islands, Spain)

P. Máyer, M.V. Marzol, J.M. Parreño


This paper pursues two objectives: first, to determine the trends of seasonal and annual precipitation in the Canary Islands and, second, to identify trends in the daily precipitation concentration index (CI). For the first objective, we used data from 1970-2013 of 23 rainfall stations located on different islands, after verifying the homogeneity of their series. For the second, the sample was reduced to eleven series since deficiencies in data records of less than 1 mm of daily precipitation were appreciated. We used the nonparametric Mann-Kendall test to determine whether the series showed linear trends in annual and seasonal precipitation and in the values of CI. The seasonal results showed negative trends in spring and winter in almost all the time series considered, especially in the north of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Conversely, 78% of the series in autumn recorded an increase in the precipitation. The annual balance indicated a decline of rainfall in most of the locations, because of the high concentration of precipitation in winter. Finally, the majority of the time series exhibited a trend toward a greater concentration of daily rainfall, in particular those series located in areas where the main towns are settled, which is an important issue to consider because of severe flooding and other geomorphological processes.


Canary Islands; daily precipitation concentration index (CI); Mann-Kendall test; precipitation trend analysis

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© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540