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Evaluation of interpolation techniques for the creation of gridded daily precipitation (1 × 1 km2); Cyprus, 1980–2010

March 4, 2014

High-resolution gridded daily data sets are essential for natural resource management and the analyses of climate changes and their effects. This study aims to evaluate the performance of 15 simple or complex interpolation techniques in reproducing daily precipitation at a resolution of 1 km2 over topographically complex areas. Methods are tested considering two different sets of observation densities and different rainfall amounts. We used rainfall data that were recorded at 74 and 145 observational stations, respectively, spread over the 5760 km2 of the Republic of Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean. Regression analyses utilizing geographical copredictors and neighboring interpolation techniques were evaluated both in isolation and combined. Linear multiple regression (LMR) and geographically weighted regression methods (GWR) were tested. These included a step-wise selection of covariables, as well as inverse distance weighting (IDW), kriging, and 3D-thin plate splines (TPS). The relative rank of the different techniques changes with different station density and rainfall amounts. Our results indicate that TPS performs well for low station density and large-scale events and also when coupled with regression models. It performs poorly for high station density. The opposite is observed when using IDW. Simple IDW performs best for local events, while a combination of step-wise GWR and IDW proves to be the best method for large-scale events and high station density. This study indicates that the use of step-wise regression with a variable set of geographic parameters can improve the interpolation of large-scale events because it facilitates the representation of local climate dynamics.

Camera C, Bruggeman A, Hadjinicolaou P, Pashiardis S, Lange MA, 2014: Evaluation of interpolation techniques for the creation of gridded daily precipitation (1 × 1 km2); Cyprus, 1980–2010, Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, 2013JD020611, doi: 10.1002/2013JD020611. Article (subscription required).

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