AS  Vol.8 No.8 , August 2017
Exceedance Probability of the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index in the Texas High Plains
Drought is a common occurrence in many arid and semi-arid regions that can have large negative impacts on water resources and agricultural production. Since agricultural drought is affected by both water supply and demand (precipitation and evapotranspiration), it is beneficial to include both in agricultural drought monitoring. The Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was found to be a suitable drought index for monitoring agricultural drought. In this study, the SPEI calculated from agro-meteorological weather stations was used to determine exceedance probabilities at five levels in the Texas High Plains. In addition, the kriging method was used to interpolate between the stations to generate spatial maps for the exceedance probabilities. No significant differences were found between stations, indicating any station should be suitable to represent the Texas High Plains. Results showed drought conditions occurred at all five probability levels during the summer growing season for this region. Although differences were not significantly different, the interpolated maps showed a trend where minor differences in the SPEI values were associated with the West-East precipitation gradient. However, there was no trend associated with the North-South air temperature gradient. A risk analysis showed that the SPEI probability values can provide policy and decision makers with additional information for better water management in the Texas High Plains.
Cite this paper: Moorhead, J. , W. Marek, G. , H. Gowda, P. , Marek, T. , Porter, D. , Singh, V. and Brauer, D. (2017) Exceedance Probability of the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index in the Texas High Plains. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 783-800. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.88058.

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