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Trends in observed extreme climate indices in Saudi Arabia during 1979–2008

Authors

  • H. Athar

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Meteorology, Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    • Correspondence to: H. Athar, Department of Meteorology, Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: ahussain1@kau.edu.sa

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ABSTRACT

Results of a detailed computation of trends in the annual and the seasonal extreme climate indices using the observed daily temperature and precipitation datasets from a total of 19 stations from Saudi Arabia (SA) for the 30-year period (1979–2008) are presented. The temperature based indices have higher value of statistically significant decadal trends and are spatially more widespread as compared to the precipitation based indices. The increase in the frequency of the extreme warm temperatures is larger than the increase in the frequency of the extreme cold temperatures, both on the annual and the seasonal basis. The daily temperature based extremes display more warming in the summer season. The (southwest) coastal stations have displayed more warming as compared to the inland stations. The regional daily temperature range shows a statistically significant increase of 0.21 °C decade−1 for SA, during the 30-year period. Warming of extreme maximum temperatures follow the general trend of already noticed warming in SA.

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