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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Meteorological drought in semi-arid regions: A case study of Iran

Abstract

Drought occurs in almost all climate zones and is characterized by prolonged water deficiency due to unbalanced demand and supply of water, persistent insufficient precipitation, lack of moisture, and high evapotranspiration. Drought caused by insufficient precipitation is a temporary and recurring meteorological event. Precipitation in semi-arid regions is different from that in other regions, ranging from 50 to 750 mm. In general, the semi-arid regions in the west and north of Iran received more precipitation than those in the east and south. The Terrestrial Climate (TerraClimate) data, including monthly precipitation, minimum temperature, maximum temperature, potential evapotranspiration, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) developed by the University of Idaho, were used in this study. The PDSI data was directly obtained from the Google Earth Engine platform. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) on two different scales were calculated in time series and also both SPI and SPEI were shown in spatial distribution maps. The result showed that normal conditions were a common occurrence in the semi-arid regions of Iran over the majority of years from 2000 to 2020, according to a spatiotemporal study of the SPI at 3-month and 12-month time scales as well as the SPEI at 3-month and 12-month time scales. Moreover, the PDSI detected extreme dry years during 2000–2003 and in 2007, 2014, and 2018. In many semi-arid regions of Iran, the SPI at 3-month time scale is higher than the SPEI at 3-month time scale in 2000, 2008, 2014, 2015, and 2018. In general, this study concluded that the semi-arid regions underwent normal weather conditions from 2000 to 2020. In a way, moderate, severe, and extreme dry occurred with a lesser percentage, gradually decreasing. According to the PDSI, during 2000–2003 and 2007–2014, extreme dry struck practically all hot semi-arid regions of Iran. Several parts of the cold semi-arid regions, on the other hand, only experienced moderate to severe dry from 2000 to 2003, except for the eastern areas and wetter regions. The significance of this study is the determination of the spatiotemporal distribution of meteorological drought in semi-arid regions of Iran using strongly validated data from TerraClimate.

Keywords

meteorological drought, precipitation, Standardized Precipitation Index, Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, Palmer Drought Severity Index, Iran

First Page

1212

Last Page

1233

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