Abstract

Temperature is an indispensable parameter of climate that triggers evapotranspiration and has vital importance in aggravating drought severity. This paper analyses the existence and persistence of drought conditions which are said to prevail in a tropical river basin which was once perennial. Past observed data and future climate projections of precipitation and temperature were used for this purpose. The assessment and projection of this study employ the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) compared with that of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The results indicate the existence of drought in the past and the drought conditions that may persist in the future according to RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. The past drought years identified in the study were compared with the drought declared years in the state and were found to be matching. The evaluation of the future scenarios unveils the occurrence of drought in the basin ranging from mild to extreme conditions. It has been noted that the number of moderate and severe drought months has increased based on SPEI compared to SPI, indicating the importance of temperature in drought studies. The study can be considered as a plausible scientific remark helpful in risk management and application decisions.

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