Drought is universally acknowledged as a phenomenon associated with scarcity of water. Drought characterization is essential for drought management operations. Using drought indices is a pragmatic way to assimilate large amounts of data into quantitative information that can be used in applications such as drought forecasting, declaring drought levels, contingency planning and impact assessment. Using monthly mean precipitation data for a period of 1982-2012 from 12 raingauge stations in the Manjalar sub-basin of Vaigai using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is produced for the drought analysis with the time scale of 3 months (SPI-3), 6 months (SPI-6) and 12 months (SPI-12) as they are applicable for agriculture and hydrological aspects, respectively. It was observed that the basin experienced frequent droughts for all months of the year. The highest percentage of occurrence of drought was observed in the month of July (15.3), May (15.4) and August (15.6) at SPI-3, SPI-6 and SPI-12 respectively. On an average we observed 32.6, 8.6, 5.6 and 2.3 percentages of drought occurred by mild, moderate, severe and extreme drought respectively with respect to SPI-12. The results showed that mild droughts occur most frequently and extreme droughts occur least frequently and the basin suffered severe drought during the year of 1985, 2004 and 2006. The central and south eastern parts of the basin had more potential sensitivity to the droughts in comparison with the other areas of the basin.
Drought, Spatial and temporal analysis, SPI index
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