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Keywords:

  • dry days;
  • climatology;
  • linear trends;
  • wavelet analysis;
  • Argentina

Abstract

This work proposes to employ the number of dry days (days without precipitation) as a variable of study, and to analyse their spatial and temporal variability in Argentina. Climatological aspects of dry days, such as their annual mean values and its seasonal cycle, were discussed and compared with precipitation features in the country. Linear trends in the annual number of dry days (ANDD) were identified for the period 1960–2005. Most of the regions exhibited decreasing trends, but few stations showed significant ones. The most important trends were present in the Central-West region and over the Patagonian coast and their magnitudes indicated a decrease of two to six dry days per decade. These trends coincide with the observed increase of accumulated precipitation in part of the country during the second half of the 20th century. To identify long-term fluctuations in the ANDD, a low pass filter, a wavelet analysis and a cubic polynomial fit was applied to the longest time series of the selected locations. Through these methodologies, periodicities were identified in the inter-annual and inter-decadal ranges for the last 80 years. The most important significant cycles were observed in the range of 10–24 years, but also, depending on the region, significant inter-annual variations were found. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society