The Mesoamerican mid-summer drought: the impact of its definition on occurrences and recent changes


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Bibliographic Details
Authors: Maurer, Edwin P., Stewart Frey, Iris T., Arechiga, Kenneth Joseph, Hidalgo León, Hugo G.
Format: artículo
Publication Date:2022
Description:The mid-summer drought, veranillo or canícula, is a phenomenon experienced in many areas, including Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. It generally is experienced as reduced rainfall in July–August, in the middle of the typical rainy season (May–September). Many past studies have attempted to quantify changes in mid-summer drought characteristics during the recent past or for future climate projections. To do this, objective definitions of a mid-summer drought’s occurrence, strength, and duration have been developed by many researchers. In this effort we adopt a recent set of definitions and examine the impact of varying these on the characterization of mid-summer droughts and the detected changes over the past 4 decades. We find the selection of a minimum intensity threshold has a dramatic effect on the results of both the area considered as experiencing a midsummer drought and the changes detected in the recent historical record. The intensity chosen can affect both the magnitude and direction of changes reported in the recent observed record. Further, we find that the typical mid-summer drought pattern may not be occurring during the time it has historically; whether examining past or future changes or developing improved seasonal forecasts, the non-stationarity of its timing should be accommodated.
Institution:Universidad de Costa Rica
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Access Level:acceso abierto
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