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Spatial mapping of drought in Zambia using regional frequency analysis

  • Kaluba, Peter Kasolota
  • Verbist, Koen
  • Cornelis, Wim
  • Van Ranst, Eric
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Regional frequency analysis based on L-moments was applied to assess the spatial extent of meteorological droughts in tandem with their return periods in Zambia. Weather station monthly rainfall data were screened to form homogeneous sub-regions-, validated by a homogeneity criterion and fitted by a generalized extreme value distribution using goodness-of-fit test statistics. Predictor equations at regional scale for L-moment ratios and mean annual precipitation were developed to generate spatial maps of meteorological drought recurrences. The 80% of normal rainfall level and two thresholds of 60% and 70% were synonymous with moderate and severe droughts, respectively. Droughts were more severe in the south than in the north of Zambia. The return periods for severe and moderate droughts showed an overlapping pattern in their occurrence at many locations, indicating that in certain years droughts can affect the entire country. The extreme south of Zambia is the most prone to drought.

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