Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30569
Analysis of Meteorological Drought Using Standardized Precipitation Index – A Case Study of Puruliya District, West Bengal, India

Authors: Moumita Palchaudhuri, Sujata Biswas


Drought is universally acknowledged as a phenomenon associated with scarcity of water. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) expresses the actual rainfall as standardized departure from rainfall probability distribution function. In this study severity and spatial pattern of meteorological drought was analyzed in the Puruliya District, West Bengal, India using multi-temporal SPI. Daily gridded data for the period 1971-2005 from 4 rainfall stations surrounding the study area were collected from IMD, Pune, and used in the analysis. Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to generate drought severity maps for the different time scales and months of the year. Temporal SPI graphs show that the maximum SPI value (extreme drought) occurs in station 3 in the year 1993. Mild and moderate droughts occur in the central portion of the study area. Severe and extreme droughts were mostly found in the northeast, northwest and the southwest part of the region.

Keywords: Geographical Information System, drought severity, standardized precipitation index, Meteorological Drought

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 4515


[1] "Drought in India”, Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme, 2008.
[2] W. C. Palmer, "Meteorological Drought”, U.S. Weather Bureau Manuscript No. 45 58pp February, 1965.
[3] W.M. Alley, "The Palmer Drought Severity Index as a measure of hydrological drought”, Water Resources Bulletin Vol. 21 p105 - 114, 1985.
[4] T. Karl, F. Quinlan and D.S. Ezell, "Drought termination and amelioration: its climatological probability”, Journal Clim Appl Met Vol. 26 p1198 - 1209, 1987.
[5] Z. Sen, "Probabilistic formulation of spatio-temporal pattern”, Theor Appl Climatological Vol. 6 p197 - 206, 1998.
[6] X. Lana, C. Serra and A. Burgueno, "Spatial and temporal characterization of annual extreme droughts of Catalonia (North Spain)”, Int J Clim Vol. 18 p93 - 110, 1998.
[7] K. Stahl and S. Demuth, "Linking stream flow drought to occurrence of atmospheric circulation pattern”, Hydrol Sci Journal Vol. 44(5) p665 - 680, 1999.
[8] T. B. McKee, N. J. Doesken and J. Kleist, "The Relationship of Drought Frequency and Duration to Time Scales”, Proceeding of the Eight Conference on Applied Climatology 17-22 January, Anaheim, California, 1993.
[9] M. Rouault and Y. Richard, "Intensity and Spatial Extension of Drought in South Africa at Different time Scale”, Water SA Vol. 29(4) October, 2003.
[10] A. Loukas and L. Vasiliades, "Probabilistic analysis of Drought spatiotemporal characteristics in Thessaly region, Greece”, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Vol. 4 p719 - 731, 2004.
[11] S. Shahid and H. Behrawan, "Drought risk assessment in the western part of Bangladesh”, Nat Hazards Vol. 46 p391 - 413, 2008.
[12] O. Yldz, "Assessing temporal and spatial characteristics of droughts in the Hirfanli dam basin, Turkey”, Scientific Research and Essays Vol. 4 (4) p249 - 255, 2009.
[13] D. C. Edossa, M. S. Babel and A. D. Gupta, "Drought Analysis in the Awash River Basin, Ethiopia”, Water Resour Management Vol. 24 p1441 - 1460, 2010.
[14] P. Angelidis, F. Maris, N. Kotsovinos and V. Hrissanthou, "Computation of Drought Index SPI with Alternative Distribution Functions”, Water Resour Manage Vol. 26 p2453 - 2473, 2012.
[15] D. C. Edwards and T. B. McKee, "Characteristics of 20th century drought in the United States at multiple timescales”, Climatology Report Colorado State University, Fort Collins, No. 97-2, 1997.
[16] H. C. S. Thom, "A Note on the Gamma Distribution”, Monthly Weather Review Vol. 86(4) p117 -122, 1958.
[17] M. Abramowitz and A. Stegun, "Handbook of mathematical formulas, graphs, and mathematical tables”, Dover Publications Inc New York, 1965.