Analysis of drought intensity, frequency and trends using the spei in Turkey

Serkendiz H., Tatlı H., Kılıç A., Çetin M., Sungur A.

Theoretical and Applied Climatology, vol.155, no.4, pp.2997-3012, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 155 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00704-023-04772-y
  • Journal Name: Theoretical and Applied Climatology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, Index Islamicus, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.2997-3012
  • Keywords: Mann–Kendall, Mediterranean, Meteorological Drought, Run Theory, Turkey, SPEI
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This study addresses into the critical issue of drought as a natural disaster, especially in regions characterized by arid and semi-arid climates like Turkey. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the historical occurrences of meteorological drought events in Turkey, focusing on their past frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution. The study employs the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) method and utilizes 50 years of monthly temperature and precipitation data collected from 222 meteorological stations across the country. Drought severity is assessed using the run theory method, and trends in drought patterns are analyzed through the Mann–Kendall trend test. Additionally, the text explores the connection between elevation and the geographical distribution of drought events. The study’s findings reveal a noticeable increase in the occurrence of drought periods over time. Among the selected periods, the most widespread drought event was observed in the year 2001. The Bozcaada meteorology station exhibited the highest frequency of drought with a value of 223, while the Ispir meteorology station recorded the lowest frequency with a value of 151. Over the course of the 50-year analysis, no significant correlation was found between drought and elevation, although a gradual increase was noted in the last 10 years. The results also indicate a gradual north-to-south increase in drought intensity in Turkey. The study identifies four distinct drought hotspots in the country: the Western Anatolia Region, Central and Southern Anatolia Region, Southeastern Anatolia Region, and Eastern Anatolia Region.