Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (7s): 117-124.doi: 10.11821/xb20037s014

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Comparison of Palmer Drought Severity Index, Percentage of Precipitation Anomaly and Surface Humid Index

WEI Jie1, MA Zhuguo2   

  1. 1. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China;
    2. Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment Research for Temperate East Asia, START Regional Center for East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2003-02-17 Revised:2003-07-20 Online:2003-12-25 Published:2003-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Key Planning Development for Basic Research, No.G1999043405; Knowlege Innovation Project of CAS, No ZKCX2-SW-210


The monthly PDSI, surface moisture index and percentage of precipitation anomaly are calculated for the past 49 years with data from 160 stations in China. The result shows that PDSI and surface moisture index can grasp rainfall, a decisive factor of drought. Moreover, they reflect the process of drought on a greater space and time scale. In the region with more actual evaporation, PDSI describes the severity of drought more precisely than percentage of precipitation anomaly. In North China, before the 1980s, the rainfall was more sufficient, the temperature was higher and the potential evaporation was lower. It was a relatively moist period. Since the 1980s, the rainfall has been less sufficient together with higher temperature, the drought in North China has become more and more severe.

Key words: Palmer drought severity index, percentage of precipitation anomaly, surface humid index, China