ANALYSIS OF INDICES OF EXTREME TEMPERATURE EVENTS AT APIZACO, TLAXCALA, MEXICO: 1952-2003

Fanny Lopez Diaz, Cecilia Conde, Oscar Sánchez

Abstract

In recent years in Mexico and around the world, the scientific community has shown great interest in acquiring knowledge regarding the behavior of extreme climate events due to their increasing number and intensity. The objective of this research was to analyze variations in extreme temperature events using extreme climate indices. We conducted a case study for the municipality of Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico, using data sets of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the period from 1952 to 2003. Six indices related to maximum and minimum temperatures were calculated: frost days, summer days, warm days, cool days, warm nights and cool nights. All of the index results were evaluated annually and only four of the indices were analyzed according to the seasons. A trend based on a linear least squares regression model was fit to the indices to determine their behavior. The index results showed that extreme events related to maximum temperatures corresponded to greater changes and an increased number of summer days and decreased cool days. Additionally, there was an increase of frost days, associated with a greater number of days with minimum temperatures below 0 ºC. In general, the results indicated that warmer and colder extreme temperatures are occurring. The detection of those trends in the extreme events can be seen as a first step in any study of the attribution of those observed changes (e.g., land use change, regional climate change, etc.). This attribution aspect will not be discussed in the present study.

Keywords

Extreme events, detection, temperature indices, trends, structural changes.

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