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Daily reference crop evapotranspiration in the humid environments of Azores islands using reduced data sets: accuracy of FAO-PM temperature and Hargreaves-Samani methods

Paredes, P., Fontes, J. C., Azevedo, E. B., Pereira, L. S.
Theoretical and applied climatology 2018 v.134 no.1-2 pp. 595-611
Food and Agriculture Organization, altitude, data collection, equations, evapotranspiration, islands, solar radiation, temperature, vapor pressure, weather stations, wind speed, Azores
Reference crop evapotranspiration (ETₒ) estimations using the FAO Penman-Monteith equation (PM-ETₒ) require several weather variables that are often not available. Then, ETₒ may be computed with procedures proposed in FAO56, either using the PM-ETₒ equation with temperature estimates of actual vapor pressure (e ₐ) and solar radiation (R ₛ), and default wind speed values (u ₂), the PMT method, or using the Hargreaves-Samani equation (HS). The accuracy of estimates of daily e ₐ, R ₛ, and u ₂ is provided in a companion paper (Paredes et al. 2017) applied to data of 20 locations distributed through eight islands of Azores, thus focusing on humid environments. Both estimation procedures using the PMT method (ETₒ PMT) and the HS equation (ETₒ HS) were assessed by statistically comparing their results with those obtained for the PM-ETₒ with data of the same 20 locations. Results show that both approaches provide for accurate ETₒ estimations, with RMSE for PMT ranging 0.48–0.73 mm day⁻¹ and for HS varying 0.47–0.86 mm day⁻¹. It was observed that ETₒ PMT is linearly related with PM-ETₒ, while non-linearity was observed for ETₒ HS in weather stations located at high elevation. Impacts of wind were not important for HS but required proper adjustments in the case of PMT. Results show that the PMT approach is more accurate than HS. Moreover, PMT allows the use of observed variables together with estimators of the missing ones, which improves the accuracy of the PMT approach. The preference for the PMT method, fully based upon the PM-ETₒ equation, is therefore obvious.