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A drought climatology for Mauritius using the standardized precipitation index

Dhurmea, K.R., Boojhawon, R., Rughooputh, S.D.D.V
Hydrological sciences journal 2019 v.64 no.2 pp. 227-240
climatology, drought, rain, Mauritius
This study presents a high-resolution and multi-temporal drought climatology for Mauritius based on calculated standardized precipitation index (SPI) using mean monthly rainfall for the period 1953–2007. A monthly mean SPI varying from +3.4 to −2.7 indicates the occurrence of extremely wet and dry conditions, and collocated SPI indicates more frequent mild drought conditions. Spatial maps of rainfall trends and SPI show mostly neutral to severely dry conditions, but sparse regions of extremely wet and dry conditions are also observed. An increase in the frequency of dry years after the 1990s is noted, while most of the extreme wet conditions are found to have occurred between 1972 and 1988. More frequent short-duration wet events are observed on the 3- and 6-month time scales compared to dry events. On the 12- and 24-month time scales the frequency of both dry and wet periods is almost the same, with the dry events lasting longer.