Articles | Volume 24, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4541–4565, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-4541-2020
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4541–4565, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-4541-2020

Research article 21 Sep 2020

Research article | 21 Sep 2020

A universal Standardized Precipitation Index candidate distribution function for observations and simulations

Patrick Pieper et al.

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Cited articles

Adler, R. F., Huffman, G. J., Chang, A., Ferraro, R., Xie, P.-P., Janowiak, J., Rudolf, B., Schneider, U., Curtis, S., Bolvin, D., Gruber, A., Susskind, J., Arkin, P., and Nelkin, E.: The version-2 global precipitation climatology project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979–present), J. Hydrometeorol., 4, 1147–1167, 2003. a
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Beguería, S. and Vicente-Serrano, S. M.: Calculation of the Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, available at: https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/SPEI/index.html (last access: 11 September 2020), 2017. a
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Short summary
The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a widely accepted drought index. SPI normalizes the precipitation distribution via a probability density function (PDF). However, which PDF properly normalizes SPI is still disputed. We suggest using a previously mostly overlooked PDF, namely the exponentiated Weibull distribution. The proposed PDF ensures the normality of the index. We demonstrate this – for the first time – for all common accumulation periods in both observations and simulations.