March 30, 2022

Simulating Precipitation with Long-Term Droughts

Posted by Jason Lillywhite

One of GoldSim's most popular models downloaded from our Model Library is the GoldSim implementation of a Stochastic Weather Generator (WGEN). This model simulates probabilistic climate that drives hydrological processes in environmental systems models, such as precipitation, temperature and solar radiation.

One of the limitations of this model is that the generated precipitation time series generated by the model doesn't account for long-term drought cycles. Using the National Integrated Drought Information System (by NOAA), we can apply the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) to precipitation generated by WGEN to account for droughts. This blog post summarizes an approach used to incorporate droughts for a site during the years 1910 - 2022 and found to produce results that compare well to the historic precipitation measured at a site in Manti, Utah.