Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

An evaluation of statistical synoptic models of rainfall in Spain

Spellman, G. (2003) An evaluation of statistical synoptic models of rainfall in Spain. Doctoral thesis. University of Leicester.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Abstract: This study investigates the control of atmospheric circulation patterns on rainfall incidence in Spain. The main objective of the research is to evaluate a range of statistical synoptic approaches with the aim of identifying the scheme that best models circulation to association. Spatial patterns of rainfall in Spain are first investigated using Principal Components Analysis and Cluster Analysis. Distinct precipitation affinity groups emerge that display covariant rainfall behaviour and reflect differences in latitude, the influence of topography and distance from the synoptic feature responsible for rainfall. The method allows seasonal redefinition of boundaries and the investigation of the effect of climate change. In total 24 synoptic models are investigated. The best performing models (a daily weather type model and a monthly airflow index model) use standardized data and the 500hPa contour surface. Some of the problems associated with non-stationarity are attempted by modifying models using kinematic information. Adjustments to the models (inclusion of frontal information and stochastic modelling) can improve results on a sub-regional scale. Effective models are then used to empirically downscale from General Circulation Model (GCM) scenarios obtained from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. The downscaling procedure is of limited use due to errors in GCM output but results suggest strongly increasing anticyclonicity in the Iberian area and a decrease in rainfall in many areas. There are uncertainties associated with regional scale climate change estimation using current empirical methods, nevertheless as GCM output inevitably becomes more accurate the scope for detailed regional assessment will improve
Additional Information: This University of Northampton thesis was validated by the University of Leicester
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC980 Climatology and weather
Creators: Spellman, Greg
Department: School of Applied Sciences (to 2009)
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Theses (Arts, Science & Technology)
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Applied Sciences (to 2009) > Theses (to 2009)
Date: 2003
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 246
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
Institution: University of Leicester

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