Changes in precipitation and evapotranspiration over Lokok and Lokere catchments in Uganda
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This study analysed long-term (1948–2016) changes in gridded (0.25° × 0.25°) Princeton Global Forcing (PGF) precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (PET) data over Lokok and Lokere catchments. PGF-based and station datasets were compared. Trend and variability were analysed using a nonparametric technique based on the cumulative sum of the difference between exceedance and non-exceedance counts of data. Seasonal (March-April-May (MAM), June-July-August (JJA), September-October-November (SON), December-January-February (DJF)) and annual precipitation exhibited negative trends (p < 0.05). Positive anomalies in precipitation occurred in the 1950s as well as in the early 2000s till 2016. Negative anomalies existed between 1960 and 2000. Both seasonal and annual PET mainly exhibited increasing trend with alternating positive and negative anomalies for the entire period, except in the southern region. The H0 was rejected (p < 0.05) for SON PET in the North and South of the study area. The H0 was rejected (p < 0.05) for DJF PET in the North. However, H0 was not rejected (p > 0.05) for MAM, JJA and annual PET. Positive and negative correlations were observed between PGF and station precipitation varying from one location to another. The PGF-based PET were lower than the observed PET at Kotido by about 40%. Besides, a close agreement was noticeable between PGF-based and MODIS PET from May to November. This showed the need to improve on the quality of PGF data in reproducing the observed climatic data in areas with low meteorological stations density. Nevertheless, the findings from this study are relevant for planning of predictive adaptation to the effects of climate variability on the water resources management applications. Impacts of human factors and climate change on the hydrology of the study area should be quantified in future research studies.