Spatiotemporal analysis of drought by CHIRPS precipitation estimates

Hakan Aksu, Yonca Cavus, Hafzullah Aksoy, Mehmet Ali Akgul, Seyhmus Turker, Ebru Eris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Drought is one of the most devastating natural hazards causing considerable losses in all climatic zones of the world. It is one of the most complex and the least understood hazards at the same time because of its spatially heterogeneous and temporally variable character. Spatially dense and uniformly distributed ground-based meteorological data are needed for proper spatial and temporal drought analysis. In practice, such data are lacking in general due either to the nonexistence of ground stations or their uneven and scarce distribution over a region. This creates a great potential in the use of satellite precipitation estimates (SPEs) such as the long-period high-resolution Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS) data in drought analysis. In this study, we aim to analyze drought over the Kucuk Menderes River Basin in the western part of Turkey by using the CHIRPS data, which were found highly correlated with precipitation in the local ground stations. The analysis was performed by considering the spatial variability and temporal change in the drought characterization based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) calculated at the 3-month (seasonal) timescale. Drought in the river basin was found to have a within-year variability from month to month, and a spatial variability over the basin in any given month. Also, an over-year variability with a decreasing trend exists, which could be considered a signal for more strengthened droughts in the future. The study eventually demonstrates how the CHIRPS SPEs could be useful in the spatial and temporal drought analysis for regions with limited ground-based meteorological data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-529
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.


The authors thank the State Meteorology Service (MGM with its Turkish acronym) of Turkey, Climate Hazard Group and UCBS for providing the precipitation data used in this study. This study is a contribution to the Prediction under Change Working Group under the Panta Rhei decade of International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).

FundersFunder number
State Meteorology Service
International Association of Hydrological Sciences


    • CHIRPS
    • Drought
    • Kucuk Menderes River Basin
    • Satellite precipitation estimates
    • Standardized Precipitation Index


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