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IJESD 2022 Vol.13(1): 16-20 ISSN: 2010-0264
doi: 10.18178/ijesd.2022.13.1.1366

Meteorological Drought Assessment in Sharjah, UAE Using Drought Indices

Mhamd S. Oyounalsoud, Arwa Najah, Abdullah G. Yilmaz, Mohamed Abdallah, and Mohsin Siddique

Abstract—Drought is a natural disaster that significantly affects environmental and socio-economic conditions. It occurs when there is a period of below average precipitation in a region, and it results in water supply shortages affecting various sectors and life adversely. Droughts impact the ecosystems, crop production, and erode livelihoods. Monitoring drought is essential especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the scarcity of rainfall for an extended period of time. In this study, drought is assessed in Sharjah UAE using monthly precipitation and average temperature data recorded for 35 years (1981-2015) at the Sharjah International Airport. The standardized precipitation Index (SPI), and the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) are selected to predict future droughts in the region. SPI and RDI are fitted to the statistical distribution functions (gamma and lognormal) in an annual time scale and then, a trend analysis of index values is carried out using Mann-Kendal test. The correlation between SPI and RDI indices was found to be high where both showed high drought frequencies and a tendency to get drier over time, thus indicating the need of appropriate drought management and monitoring.

Index Terms—Drought, climate change, precipitation, SPI, RDI.

M. S. Oyounalsoud is with the University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE (e-mail: U18200511@sharjah.ac.ae).
A. Najah is with Khalifa University, AbuDhabi, UAE (e-mail: 100057968@ku.ac.ae).
A. G. Yilmaz is with the Engineering Department, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (e-mail: G.Yilmaz@latrobe.edu.au).
M. Abdallah and M. Sidiqque are with the University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE (e-mail: mabdallah@sharjah.ac.ae, msiddique@sharjah.ac.ae).

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Cite: Mhamd S. Oyounalsoud, Arwa Najah, Abdullah G. Yilmaz, Mohamed Abdallah, and Mohsin Siddique, "Meteorological Drought Assessment in Sharjah, UAE Using Drought Indices," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 16-20, 2022.

Copyright © 2022 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-0264 (Print)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Environ. Sci. Dev.
  • Frequency: Bimonthly(Since 2022); Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJESD
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Richard Haynes
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Indexing: Scopus (since 2019), Google Scholar, CNKICrossref, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. 
  • E-mail: ijesd@ejournal.net