Spatial Variability of Rainfall at an Experimental Station in Niger, West Africa

Sivakumar, M V K and Hameld, J L (1990) Spatial Variability of Rainfall at an Experimental Station in Niger, West Africa. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 42 (1). pp. 33-39. ISSN 77-798X

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Variability of rainfall in the semi-arid regions can cause problems in evaluating experimental trials. To describe the spatial rainfall patterns over a large experimental station, rainfall was monitored during the 1986 and 1987 rainy seasons using 18 raingages over the 500 ha experimental station of ICRISAT Sahelian Center, in Niger, West Africa. Average relative variability of individual rain storms, defined as the percentage deviation from the mean, varied from 2 to 62%, while the variability over the rainy season was 17.1%. Isohyetal patterns of individual rain storms as well as seasonal totals showed distinct coherence in the spatial pattern over the station. The effects of total volume, duration, direction and intensity of storms and the time of year on the spatial correlations were analyzed. Storm value showed a large influence on the correlation decay with distance. Correlations in the W — E and SW — NE directions were higher in comparison to those in the N — S and NW — SE directions. Point rainfall measurements were better correlated with the network average rainfall than with the rainfall recorded at the meteorological station. Variograms among raingages revealed that the distance of independence was approximately 1 000 m for almost all storms. Use of a network of raingages over agricultural experiment stations reduces the average relative variability of areal rainfall estimates and provides a means to develop simple relations for estimation of point rainfall for individual applications.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2011 09:42
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2013 13:12
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Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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