Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment vol:29 pages:2527-2542
This study investigates long-term trends in annual and seasonal precipitation at 16 stations in the upper Blue Nile River basin. The non-parametric Mann-Kendall test modified by effective sample size is used to detect linear trends in the precipitation time series. The trends magnitudes and starting time of significant trends are determined using the Sen's slope approach and the sequential Mann-Kendall test, respectively. Albeit annual precipitation shows a tendency to decrease in more than 80% of the stations, statistically significant trends are found at only two stations. The significant decreasing trends of (-)40.3 and (-)168.1 mm/year per decade in annual precipitation at Debre Brihan and Gore stations started in the late 1970s and early 1980s respectively, which is consistent with the devastating droughts and famine during that period in the region. Owing to the great contribution of the main rainy season’s (June to September: JJAS) precipitation to annual precipitation in the upper Blue Nile basin, the variation pattern of the JJAS precipitation is very similar to that of annual precipitation. Insignificant decreasing/increasing trends in the short rainy season’s (March to May: MAM) precipitation are clearly predominant in the basin, where only one significant decreasing trend is detected in the time series.