The analysis and understanding of drought phenomenon are essential for the management of hydrological resources. Drought indices are commonly used to predict these extreme events, being their suitability partly due to the use of climate fields at an adequate spatiotemporal resolution. This work aims to examine spatiotemporal patterns of drought over the Iberian Peninsula (IP), which is a region especially vulnerable to drought phenomenon. For this, climate data from a simulation completed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model have been used. The spatiotemporal patterns of drought over the period 1980–2014 were examined using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at the 3- and the 12-month time scales, and they were compared with other drought-related variables such as the surface evapotranspiration (SFCEVP), soil moisture (SM), and runoff. The results evidence that WRF is a valuable tool for characterizing droughts over the IP, providing large amounts of climate data at an adequate spatial resolution. Drought events seem to be more severe in regard to their duration over southern IP. Moreover, a good agreement between the SPEI at 3-month time scale with the SM and the SFCEVP is found. Additionally, the annual runoff evolves similarly to the SPEI at 12-month time scale.
Part of the book: Drought