Complexity and predictability of daily precipitation in a semi-arid region: an application to Ceará, Brazil

Silva, M. E. S.; Carvalho, L. M. V.; da Silva Dias, M. A. F.; Xavier, T. de M. B. S.

Complexity and predictability of daily precipitation in a tropical semi-arid region (Ceará State, Brazil) is assessed by applying entropy concepts. Precipitation regimes in that region depend on several dynamical forcings, the most important being the displacement and activity of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone in the Atlantic Ocean. Topography is another important factor that influences the spatial distribution of rainfall in the region. A hierarchical approach based on sequences of events of different lengths is used to estimate complexity of daily precipitation records. It is shown that precipitation in Ceará exhibit more random than periodic sequences, which indicates a large degree of complexity. Nevertheless, there is indication of potentially inherent rules in the precipitation time-series that could ultimately improve prediction on time-scales between 9–11 days. It is suggested that synoptic-scale disturbances (1–8 days) represent important sources of rules in the precipitation regimes in this region.

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Silva, M. E. S. / Carvalho, L. M. V. / da Silva Dias, M. A. F. / et al: Complexity and predictability of daily precipitation in a semi-arid region: an application to Ceará, Brazil. 2006. Copernicus Publications.

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