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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5132895, 13 pages
Research Article

Climate Change Impact on Monthly Precipitation Wet and Dry Spells in Arid Regions: Case Study over Wadi Al-Lith Basin

1Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3Center of Excellence in Desalination Technology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Mansour Almazroui

Received 19 April 2017; Revised 17 June 2017; Accepted 23 August 2017; Published 4 October 2017

Academic Editor: Roberto Fraile

Copyright © 2017 Mansour Almazroui et al. 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.


Durations of monthly precipitation wet and dry spells are calculated using historical records and regional climate model (RCM) simulations for the Wadi Al-Lith basin in western Saudi Arabia. The characteristics of durations of wet and dry spells are based on the 50% risk level corresponding to the monthly records for average regional precipitation. The duration of wet spells in the model data is compared with observations for the base period 1971–2000. The impact of climate change on the durations of wet and dry spells is obtained using three global climate models projections with RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios downscaled by RCM. The probability distribution functions (PDFs) of the climate model scenarios and the precipitation records for the base period prove that climate change has a clear impact on the durations of wet and dry spells over the study area. There is an increase in wet spells frequency in the far future (2070–2099) compared to the near future (2020–2049). The increase in wet spells can be partly explained by the increase in extreme rainfall events and by the decrease in dry spells expected to occur over the study area towards the end of 21st century.