• English 
  • Spanish 

Spain02: A set of gridded precipitation and temperature datasets

Register in the Spain02 InfoMail distribution list for news and updates regarding this dataset.

climatlas application http://meteo.unican.es/climatlas


Spain02 is a series of high-resolution daily precipitation and (maximum and minimum) temperature gridded datasets developed for peninsular Spain and the Balearic islands. A dense network of ~2500 quality-controlled stations (~250 for temperatures) for the period 1950-2007 was selected from the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) in order to build the gridded products for version v2 (0.2º regular grid). In version v3 a new precipitation grid for trend analysis was included. The updated version v4 includes three different resolutions (0.11º, 0.22º and 0.44º in rotated coordinates matching Euro-CORDEX grids, as shown in the figure below) for the period 1971-2007. Daily precipitation records (and the resulting gridded values) for any given day n correspond to the precipitation registered between between 0700UTC of day n and 0700UTC of day n+1.

(a)-(c) Orography obtained averaging the global digital elevation model GTOPO30 at the different resolutions (in columns). (d)-(i) Effective altitude of the grid points, obtained as the weighted mean (according to temporal coverage) of the corresponding gauges elevation for (d)-(f) mean temperature and (g)-(i) precipitation.

Until version v3 the interpolation methodology used to build the grids was ordinary kriging (OK), for precipitation, and 3D thin plate splines for monthly means followed by OK for the daily residuals, in the case of temperature. In version v4 several methodologies have been applied at a 0.01º resolution, obtaining the final grids by spatial averaging to the target resolutions in order to obtain areal representative values (following Hofstra et al. 2008). Among the different grids, the Area-Averaged (AA) monthly trivariate Thin Plate Splines and OK (AA-3D) is recommended for validation of Regional Climate Models (RCMs). In particular, the climatologies and daily maps of the latter dataset can be visualized from the following climatlas application http://meteo.unican.es/climatlas

A more detailed study about the Spain02 grids (versions v2, v3 and v4) can be found in the following reference publications:

Data access:

Spain02 v2 products are freely distributed for research purposes at the AEMET climate services portal (read the following document for the complete copyright information). The data is available in NetCDF and text formats. This dataset is also part of the scenarios PNACC-2012 national program for regional climate change scenarios.

Spain02 v4 is freely distributed for research purposes (read the following document for the complete copyright information) at the Santander MetGroup THREDDS CATALOG.

The publications, works or studies of any kind using this data set should cite the above two references and include the following acknowledgments: "The authors thank AEMET and UC for the data provided for this work (Spain02 dataset, http://www.meteo.unican.es/datasets/spain02)".

Spain02 v2 can be completed with the PT02 dataset (distributed at request by Instituto de Meteorologia, IP, Portugal) to obtain a precipitation dataset covering the Iberian Peninsula (IP02).

Versions and problems solved:

VERSION: v4 [MAJOR CHANGES] (1-may-2014)
New interpolation methodologies (point- and areal-representative) and grids (0.11º, 0.22º and 0.44º) have been considered in this version.

VERSION: v3 (1-Sep-2012)
New precipitation dataset for trend analysis and downscaling studies was included.

PROBLEM: v2.1 (15-mar-2012)
Corrected a problem with the "txt" file for precipitation (the definition of the lon-lat grid was shifted).

VERSION: v2.1 (dec-2010)
Temperatures: Corrected anomalous high values in maximum temperatures: Sep 1964 and Jun 1997.

VERSION: v2 (nov-2010)
Precipitation: extended until 31-Mar-2008
Temperatures: 1950-2008 (monthly splines with orography + ordinary kriging).

VERSION: v1 (oct-2009)
Precipitation: period 1950-2003 (binary+ordinary kriging)
Temperatures: Not included.

Analysis of extremes for Spain02 v2:

As shown in the reference paper, Spain02 is an appropriate dataset for analyzing extreme events. The study of some extreme value indicators shows the capability of the Spain02 grid to reproduce the intensity and spatial variability of the typical observed extreme indices. Particular severe precipitation events (ephemerides) are also analyzed in the manuscript. The daily precipitation maximum that took place on November 3-4th 1987 in the Mediterranean coast due to a cut off low situation is studied in detail. It is observed that Spain02 captures the spatial an temporal evolution of this event. Here we include figures of some other ephemerides not shown in the manuscript, together with a synoptic description of the corresponding meteorological situation.

7th November 1982 description: Strong rainfall over the Ebro river basin gave rise to floods in Lerida and Huesca areas. This episode was due to a cut off low situation from the Atlantic ocean associated with high-level cold air mass. In addition, very warm and moist air was located over the Mediterranean sea. The strong temperature and moisture gradient triggered northward advection of warm and humid air from the Mediteranean. The effect of the Iberian orography, in particular the Pyrenees blocking, gave rise to heavy and continuous rain lasted for several hours.
For a more detailed description see J. Olcina 1994 (Riesgos climáticos en la Península Ibérica, Penthatlon) or F. Tullot 2000 (Climatología de España y Portugal, U. Salamanca)


19th October 1982 [View image] description: A particular meteorological situation took place between 20th and 21st Octubre 1982 over the Júcar river basin. A cut off low situation became independent from the basic westerly current, remaining nearly stationary for days. The warm air with high moisture content at lower tropospheric levels yielded torrential rain in the area achieving values around 400 mm in 24 hours. As a result, severe flooding took place all along the Júcar river basin, being further complicated by the Tous Dam failure.
For a more detailed description see F. Alcrudo and J. Mulet 2007 (Description of the Tous dam break case study, J . of Hydraulic Res. 45: 45-57), F. Garcia 1982 (Situación atmosférica causante de lluvias torrenciales
durante los días 19 al 21 de octubre de 1982 en el Levante español
, INM) or J. Olcina 1994 (Riesgos climáticos en la Península Ibérica, Penthatlon).

25th August 1983 [View image] description: The synoptic maps show for those days an stable anticyclonic situation located over the Iberian Peninsula with high surface temperatures over the Cantabrian coast. In addition, cold air was present at higher levels. This situation was intensified by northern winds forcing humid air mass to penetrate inland. The orography of the Basque country played an important role on the generation of severe thunderstorms which gave rise to considerable damage by flooding in August 1983 over the Cantabrian region and mainly the Basque country. The Nervión river flooded large areas. In particular, the water level reached a height of 2.10 metres in Bilbao causing significant damages.
For a more detailed description see J.J. Capel 1983 (El clima de la España Cantábrica: las inundaciones de 1983 en el País Vasco, Cantabria y Navarra, Almería : La Crónica del Sur) or J. Olcina 1994 (Riesgos climáticos en la Península Ibérica, Penthatlon).

2nd October 1984 [View image] description: This meteorological situation correspond to a depression which was previously a tropical cyclon called Hortensia originated in the tropical Atlantic. As in other similar cases, Hortensia was absorbed by the circulation of the westerlies in the temperate zone and converted into undulating depressions in the Polar Front. This situation yielded strong winds and heavy rainfall in Galicia.
For a more detailed description see J.J. Capel 1988 (Las perturbaciones tropicales en el Atlántico Norte y su incidencia en Europa occidental, Papeles de Geografía 14: 9-33) or R. Rodríguez et al 2000 (Las inundaciones recientes en Galicia, Serie Geográfica 9: 187-210).

15th October 1987[View image] description: A fast moving vigorous depression crossed England from south-west to north-east during the night of 15/16 October 1987 affecting the meteorological situation at the Northwest of Spain. Cold air from high latitudes was rapidly streaming south to the coast of Portugal. At the same time, very warm and moist air from the Canary Islands was quickly advected over Spain triggered heavy precipitation over Galicia.
For a more detailed description see S. D. Burt y D. A Mansfield 1988 (The great storm of 15-16 October 1987, Weather 43: 90-114)