Classification of Daily Precipitation Patterns in South Korea using Mutivariate Statistical Methods

  • Mika, Janos (Hungarian Meteorological Service) ;
  • Kim, Baek-Jo (Meteorological Research Institute, Korea Meteorogical Administration) ;
  • Park, Jong-Kil (Department of Atmospheric Environment information Engineering, Inje University)
  • Published : 2006.12.31


The cluster analysis of diurnal precipitation patterns is performed by using daily precipitation of 59 stations in South Korea from 1973 to 1996 in four seasons of each year. Four seasons are shifted forward by 15 days compared to the general ones. Number of clusters are 15 in winter, 16 in spring and autumn, and 26 in summer, respectively. One of the classes is the totally dry day in each season, indicating that precipitation is never observed at any station. This is treated separately in this study. Distribution of the days among the clusters is rather uneven with rather low area-mean precipitation occurring most frequently. These 4 (seasons)$\times$2 (wet and dry days) classes represent more than the half (59 %) of all days of the year. On the other hand, even the smallest seasonal clusters show at least $5\sim9$ members in the 24 years (1973-1996) period of classification. The cluster analysis is directly performed for the major $5\sim8$ non-correlated coefficients of the diurnal precipitation patterns obtained by factor analysis In order to consider the spatial correlation. More specifically, hierarchical clustering based on Euclidean distance and Ward's method of agglomeration is applied. The relative variance explained by the clustering is as high as average (63%) with better capability in spring (66%) and winter (69 %), but lower than average in autumn (60%) and summer (59%). Through applying weighted relative variances, i.e. dividing the squared deviations by the cluster averages, we obtain even better values, i.e 78 % in average, compared to the same index without clustering. This means that the highest variance remains in the clusters with more precipitation. Besides all statistics necessary for the validation of the final classification, 4 cluster centers are mapped for each season to illustrate the range of typical extremities, paired according to their area mean precipitation or negative pattern correlation. Possible alternatives of the performed classification and reasons for their rejection are also discussed with inclusion of a wide spectrum of recommended applications.


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