Drought Analysis Using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at Different Time Scales in an Arid Region


  • A. Raja Civil Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Patna, India
  • T. Gopikrishnan Civil Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Patna, India
Volume: 12 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 9034-9037 | August 2022 | https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.5141


Drought causes insufficient soil moisture and crop water balance damage. One of the most commonly used indicators in drought monitoring is the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). In this study, the performance of the SPEI at 1-, 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month timescales was compared and analyzed from temporal and spatial variations at 12 meteorological stations in the Barmer arid region from 1979 to 2013. To determine the significance of drought characteristic trends, the modified Mann-Kendall (M-K) test is used. The results revealed that as the timescale increased, the temporal variations in the SPEI became more consistent. The M-K test revealed that the SPEI showed decreasing trends at 1 and 3 months, but increasing trends at 6, 9, and 12 months. The findings of this study are instructive and practical for drought assessment, risk management, and decision-making.


Drought, SPEI, Mann-Kendall, Arid region, Meteorology


Download data is not yet available.


A. A. Mahessar et al., "Flash Flood Climatology in the Lower Region of Southern Sindh," Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 4474–4479, Aug. 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.2726

A. N. Laghari, M. A. Soomro, Z. A. Siyal, S. H. Sandilo, and T. A. Soomro, "Water Availability in Snow Dominated Regions under Projected Climatic Variability: A Case Study of Alpine Catchment, Austria," Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 2704–2708, Apr. 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.1831

T. Homdee, K. Pongput, and S. Kanae, "A comparative performance analysis of three standardized climatic drought indices in the Chi River basin, Thailand," Agriculture and Natural Resources, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 211–219, May 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anres.2016.02.002

S. Tirivarombo, D. Osupile, and P. Eliasson, "Drought monitoring and analysis: Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI)," Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, vol. 106, pp. 1–10, Aug. 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2018.07.001

X. Wang, L. Zhuo, C. Li, B. A. Engel, S. Sun, and Y. Wang, "Temporal and spatial evolution trends of drought in northern Shaanxi of China: 1960–2100," Theoretical and Applied Climatology, vol. 139, no. 3, pp. 965–979, Feb. 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-019-03024-2

V. K. Boken, A. P. Cracknell, and R. L. Heathcote, "Agricultural Drought and Its Monitoring and Prediction: Some Concepts," in Agricultural Drought and Its Monitoring and Prediction: Some Concepts, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2005. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780195162349.003.0007

B. Lloyd-Hughes and M. A. Saunders, "A drought climatology for Europe," International Journal of Climatology, vol. 22, no. 13, pp. 1571–1592, 2002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.846

D. A. Wilhite and M. H. Glantz, "Understanding the Drought Phenomenon: The Role of Definitions," Water International, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 111–120, 1985. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02508068508686328

S. Piao et al., "The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China," Nature, vol. 467, no. 7311, pp. 43–51, Sep. 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09364

Y. Wang, C. Zhang, F.-R. Meng, C. P.-A. Bourque, and C. Zhang, "Evaluation of the suitability of six drought indices in naturally growing, transitional vegetation zones in Inner Mongolia (China)," PLOS ONE, vol. 15, no. 5, 2020, Art. no. e0233525. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233525

S. K. Jain, R. Keshri, A. Goswami, and A. Sarkar, "Application of meteorological and vegetation indices for evaluation of drought impact: a case study for Rajasthan, India," Natural Hazards, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 643–656, Sep. 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-009-9493-x

M. J. Hayes, M. D. Svoboda, D. A. Wiihite, and O. V. Vanyarkho, "Monitoring the 1996 Drought Using the Standardized Precipitation Index," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 429–438, Mar. 1999. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1999)080<0429:MTDUTS>2.0.CO;2

S. M. Vicente-Serrano, S. Beguería, and J. I. López-Moreno, "A Multiscalar Drought Index Sensitive to Global Warming: The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index," Journal of Climate, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 1696–1718, Apr. 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI2909.1

T. B. McKee, N. J. Doesken, and J. Kleist, "The Relationship of Drought Frequency and Duration to Time Scales," in 8th Conference on Applied Climatology, Anaheim, CA, USA, 1993, pp. 179–184.

"CFSR Global Weather Data for SWAT 1979-2014," SWAT-Soil & Water Assessment Tool. https://swat.tamu.edu/data/cfsr.

R. Allan, L. Pereira, and M. Smith, Crop evapotranspiration-Guidelines for computing crop water requirements - FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 56. Rome, Italy: FAO, 1998.

S. R. Samo, N. Bhatti, A. Saand, M. A. Keerio, and D. K. Bangwar, "Temporal Analysis of Temperature and Precipitation Trends in Shaheed Benazir Abad Sindh, Pakistan," Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 2171–2176, Dec. 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.1388

M. Kendall and J. D. Gibbons, Rank Correlation Methods, 5th ed. London, UK : New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, 1990.

H. B. Mann, "Nonparametric Tests Against Trend," Econometrica, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 245–259, 1945. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1907187


How to Cite

A. Raja and T. Gopikrishnan, “Drought Analysis Using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at Different Time Scales in an Arid Region”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 9034–9037, Aug. 2022.


Abstract Views: 327
PDF Downloads: 146

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share