oa Agrochemophysica - Wet and dry spells at Nelspruit*

Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



This investigation of the occurrence and properties of wet and dry spells was based on a thirty-year record of daily rainfall. Both types of spell are clearly defined. Conclusions were drawn regarding the monthly changes in wet-spell frequency, yield and duration. The first-order Markov chain was shown to be a suitable probability model for wet-spell lengths during the year as a whole and during each summer month excepting November. Dry-spell durations are very sensitive to relatively small changes in the termination criteria used in defining a dry spell. Owing to the strong seasonal nature of Nelspruit rainfall, the first-order Markov chain is adequate as a probability model for dry spell durations only during a small part of the wet season. *Adapted from a dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the M.Sc. (Agric.) degree, University of the Orange Free State.

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