Modelling monthly precipitation with circulation weather types for a dense network of stations over Iberia

Cortesi N., Trigo R.M., Gonzalez-Hidalgo J.C., Ramos A.M.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 665 678, doi:10.5194/hess-17-665-2013.

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Precipitation over the Iberian Peninsula (IP) is highly variable and shows large spatial contrasts between wet mountainous regions, to the north, and dry regions in the inland plains and southern areas. In this work, a high-density monthly precipitation dataset for the IP was coupled with a set of 26 atmospheric circulation weather types (Trigo and DaCamara, 2000) to reconstruct Iberian monthly precipitation from October to May with a very high resolution of 3030 precipitation series (overall mean density one station each 200 km2). A stepwise linear regression model with forward selection was used to develop monthly reconstructed precipitation series calibrated and validated over 19482003 period. Validation was conducted by means of a leave-one-out cross-validation over the calibration period. The results show a good model performance for selected months, with a mean coefficient of variation (CV) around 0.6 for validation period, being particularly robust over the western and central sectors of IP, while the predicted values in the Mediterranean and northern coastal areas are less acute. We show for three long stations (Lisbon, Madrid and Valencia) the comparison between model and original data as an example to how these models can be used in order to obtain monthly precipitation fields since the 1850s over most of IP for this very high density network.