On meteorological droughts in tropical Pacific Islands: time-series analysis of observed rainfall using Fiji as a case study

Deo, Ravinesh C. (2011) On meteorological droughts in tropical Pacific Islands: time-series analysis of observed rainfall using Fiji as a case study. Meteorological Applications, 18 (2). pp. 171-180. ISSN 1350-4827

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Abstract

Analysis of historical droughts was undertaken by converting observed monthly rainfall over the period 1949–2008 to the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The modified Mann–Kendall test applied on monthly rainfall showed statistically significant downward trends at significance level, α = 0.01. The Sen’s Slope, estimated from the time-series, revealed statistically significant decreases in annual rainfall ranging from ∼13 to 47 mm year−1. Based on the SPI, drought duration and severity was non-uniform across stations over the 60 year period. The strongest impacted stations were located in western and northern Fiji where rainfall deficiency for the period 1969–1988 led to a dramatic increase in moderate and severe droughts. The return periods of annual rainfall were much longer at these stations relative to those in outer-lying islands. While rainfall increased over the period 1989–2008, the actual amounts did not exceed 1949–1968 totals, confirming a net shift towards drier conditions since the 1950s. This study has demonstrated that SPI can be a useful tool for diagnosis and monitoring meteorological droughts in tropical Pacific islands.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 28 July 2010
Depositing User: Dr Ravinesh C Deo
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2010 11:12
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2014 05:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: droughts; Fiji; standardized precipitation index; return periods; rainfall trends
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0104 Statistics > 010406 Stochastic Analysis and Modelling
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010299 Applied Mathematics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960309 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1002/met.216
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8417

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