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Assessment of spatial and temporal drought in Iraq during the period 1980-2010

Keywords: Meteorological drought, Iraq, Standard precipitation index (SPI), Drought magnitude

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Abstract:

This study investigated the frequency of drought for the period 1980 to 2010 in Iraq, based on monthly rainfall data were collected from 39 meteorological stations distributed across the country and digitally encoded into a GIS database. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) is used to evaluated the spatial and temporal characteristics of meteorological drought. The result of SPI analysis reveal that the country faced during the past 30 years frequent non-uniform drought periods in an irregular repetitive manner. the paper suggest the presence of two drought types, local drought and national drought, Drought severity Classes; near normal drought, moderate drought, severe drought and extreme drought increased with time from normal to extreme levels especially at last decade. The result show the year 2008 was the worst dry year during the period, 30% of the area is under extreme drought, 36% under severe drought, 22% of the area is under moderate drought and 12% is near normal.

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