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Number of drought disasters recorded by EM-DAT (1974-2004)

Given the varying impacts of drought, several drought indicators are in use around the globe. These include the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the coefficient of variation (CV).
Drought intensity and frequency are captured by the SPI. The CV gives additional information since it is a summary measure of how large the variability of precipitation is from year-to-year, relative to the amount of mean annual rainfall.
The CV tends to be high in semi-arid regions, where there tends to be both high variability of rainfall and a small mean annual rainfall.
Approximately 400 geo-referenced drought disasters recorded in EMDAT were also compared with various SPI drought indicators. The EMDAT disasters were best matched with severe droughts identified using a SPI indicator for six-month total precipitation. This is consistent with the observation that the majority of EMDAT drought disasters are in tropical areas that experience a distinct rainy season with a typical duration of six months or less. Again, the drought indicator showing the best correspondence with EMDAT disasters (or other impacts) may vary locally.

Keywords

  • Hazards:Drought
  • Countries/Regions:Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania

  • Short URL:http://preventionweb.net/go/10600

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