Spatial estimation of mean temperature and precipitation in areas of scarce meteorological information

J. D. GÓMEZ, J. D. ETCHEVERS, A. I. MONTERROSO, C. GAY, J. CAMPO, M. MARTÍNEZ

Abstract

In regions of complex relief and scarce meteorological information it becomes difficult to implement techniques and models of numerical interpolation to elaborate reliable maps of climatic variables essential for the study of natural resources using the new tools of the geographic information systems. This paper presents a method for estimating annual and monthly mean values of temperature and precipitation, taking elements from simple interpolation methods and complementing them with some characteristics of more sophisticated methods. To determine temperature, simple linear regression equations were generated associating temperature with altitude of weather stations in the study region, which had been previously subdivided in accordance with humidity conditions and then applying such equations to the area’s digital elevation model to obtain temperatures. The estimation of precipitation was based on the graphic method through the analysis of the meteorological systems that affect the regions of the study area throughout the year and considering the influence of mountain ridges on the movement of prevailing winds. Weather stations with data in nearby regions were analyzed according to their position in the landscape, exposure to humid winds, and false color associated with vegetation types. Weather station sites were used to reference the amount of rainfall; interpolation was attained using analogies with satellite images of false color to which a model of digital elevation was incorporated to find similar conditions within the study area.

Keywords

Spatial interpolation; temperature modeling; terrain analysis; lapse rate; geographic information systems

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