Uruya Weesakul 1, Narongrit Luangdilok2, and Suraparb Keawsawasvong1

1Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering, Thammasat University, PathumThani 12120, Thailand
2Hydro-Informatics Institute, Bangkok 10990, Thailand


Received: April 19, 2022
Accepted: November 3, 2022
Publication Date: November 24, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.6180/jase.202309_26(9).0008  


This study aims to explore relationships between drought indicator values and real drought situations as ground truth information in order that such drought indicators can be used appropriately for drought warnings as well as for mitigation measures. Ping river basin, situated in the northern region of Thailand was selected as a case study due to its frequent drought phenomena. Amongst various drought indicators, Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Decile (DR) were selected as drought indicators due to their simplicity in calculation and availability of data. Five rainfall stations, distributed over the Ping river basin, with monthly rainfall data from 1975 to 2018 were selected for the study. SPI and DR were computed into 3 types which are annual SPI and DR, monsoon SPI and DR (SPI6, DR6) using accumulated rainfall from April to September, and pre-monsoon SPI and DR (SPI3 and DR3), using accumulated rainfall from January to March. Investigation of computed drought indicators and drought ground truth information revealed that annual SPI, as well as monsoon DR, agreed well with drought ground truth when criteria of drought were shifted to be above normal standard criteria. In the other words, using standard drought classification of SPI and DR provided agreement with ground truth of around 68%, while using calibrated criteria agreement with ground truth increased by 78%, for both drought indicators. It is therefore recommended to understand the physical meaning of digital values of drought indicators before using them for drought mitigation measures.

Keywords: Drought Indicators, Standardized Precipitation Index, Decile Method, Ping river Basin, Thailand.


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