Can Statistical Methods Help to Forecast Drought?

by Ian Cordery, Univ of New South Wales, Kensington,
Yaw Opoku-Ankomah, Univ of New South Wales, Kensington,
Shih-Lien Yao, Univ of New South Wales, Kensington,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


Relationships have been developed between rainfall in eastern Australia and both southern oscillation (SO) and sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and between rainfall in Ghana, West Africa and SO and SSTs. Seasonal relationships for Australia showed high correlation for long periods but were inherently non-stationary suggesting they can provide little assistance for forecasting drought. For Ghana SO was only weakly related to rainfall but SSTs are quite strongly related to rainfall in the latter part of the wet season. A strong stationary relationship between SST and rainfall two months later could be developed to provide a basis for forecasting rainfall and drought.

Subject Headings: Forecasting | Droughts | Rainfall | Statistics | Light rail transit | Oscillations | Seas and oceans | Temperature effects | Africa | Australia | Ghana

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