Standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI): Sensitivity to potential evapotranspiration model and parameters

James H. Stagge, Lena M. Tallaksen, Chong Yu Xu, Henny A.J. Van Lanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), a variant of the WMO-recommended Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), has significant potential as a meteorological drought index because it uses a more comprehensive measure of water availability, climatic water balance. However, inclusion of PET, a derived term, requires rigorous testing before the index gains wide acceptance. This study addresses whether the SPEI differs significantly from the SPI and tests its sensitivity to the choice of PET method by first comparing derived PET and then SPEI/SPI across 3950 gridded land cells in Europe using five commonly used PET methods with different complexity and input requirements. The SPEI was found to differ significantly from the SPI and the resulting PET and SPEI values found to group according to the PET radiation term. The mass transfer term, which integrates wind speed and humidity/pressure, was found to have a secondary effect on PET and no detectable effect on SPEI.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrology in a Changing World
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironmental and Human Dimensions - Proceedings of FRIEND-Water 2014
EditorsEric Servat, Jean-Emmanuel Paturel, Alain Dezetter, Gregor Laaha, Jean-Francois Boyer, Denis Ruelland, Siegfried Demuth, Gil Mahe, Trevor M. Daniell, Henny A. J. van Lanen
PublisherCopernicus GmbH
Pages367-373
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781907161414
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event7th World Flow Regimes from International and Experimental Network Data-Water Conference, FRIEND-Water 2014 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 7 Oct 201410 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameIAHS-AISH Proceedings and Reports
Volume363
ISSN (Print)0144-7815

Conference

Conference7th World Flow Regimes from International and Experimental Network Data-Water Conference, FRIEND-Water 2014
CountryFrance
CityMontpellier
Period7/10/1410/10/14

Keywords

  • Drought
  • Drought Index
  • Meteorological Drought
  • Potential Evapotranspiration
  • Sensitivity
  • SPEI
  • SPI
  • Standardized Precipitation Index

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