Standardized Precipitation Index Zones for México

L. GIDDINGS, MIGUEL SOTO, B. M. RUTHERFORD, A. MAAROUF

Abstract

Precipitation zone systems exist for México based on seasonality, quantity of precipitation, climates and geographical divisions, but none are convenient for the study of the relation of precipitation with phenomena such as El Niño. An empirical set of seven exclusively Mexican and six shared zones was derived from three series of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) images, from 1940 through 1989: a whole-year series (SPI-12) of 582 monthly images, a six month series (SPI-6) of 50 images for winter months (November through April), and a six-month series (SPI-6) of 50 images for summer months (May through October). By examination of principal component and unsupervised classification images, it was found that all three series had similar zones. A set of basic training fields chosen from the principal component images was used to classify all three series. The resulting thirteen zones, presented in this article, were found to be approximately similar, varying principally at zone edges. A set of simple zones defined by just a few vertices can be used for practical operations. In general the SPI zones are homogeneous, with almost no mixture of zones and few outliers of one zone in the area of others. They are compared with a previously published map of climatic regions. Potential applications for SPI zones are discussed.

Keywords

México; precipitation; Standardized Precipitation Index; SPI; classification; Zoning

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