Abstract

Detection of homogeneous climate areas is a challenging issue, which can be affected by different criteria. One of the most prominent factors is choosing the time scale, which can lead to different spatial and temporal patterns. Total precipitation is a key factor in climatological studies, and studying its distribution is of utmost importance. The combination of principal components analysis and cluster analysis is used for homogeneous precipitation areas' detection. Hence, the spatial pattern of total precipitation was investigated in northwestern Iran during the past two decades (1991–2010) on seasonal and annual time scales. The results of clustering on each time scale were validated, and well-defined clusters were investigated and compared with each other. Two homogeneous sub-regions were recognized in spring, the best period for depicting homogeneous precipitation clusters at seasonal resolution. The annual pattern of precipitation delineated three clusters in the study region. Finally, the characteristics of the well-clustered maps reveal the importance of time scale in detection of homogeneous precipitation sub-zones.

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