Discovering Trends of Agricultural Drought in Tihama Plain, Yemen : A Preliminary Assessment

Noorazuan Md hashim(1*), Ali Ahmed Dhaif Allah(2), azahan Awang(3),

(1) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
(2) Pusat Pengajian sosial, persekitaran dan pembangunan FSSK UKM Bangi 43600 Selangor Malaysia
(3) pusat pengajian sosial, persekitaran dan pembangunan FSSK UKM Bangi
(*) Corresponding Author


Agricultural drought is characterized by lack of sufficient moisture in the surface soil layers to support crop and forage growth. Indicators of agricultural drought often are precipitation, temperature and soil moisture to measure soil moisture and crop yield.  This study aims to assess spatiotemporal of drought in the Tihama Plain, which is one of the most important agricultural areas in Yemen, where contributes about 42% of the total agricultural production in the country. In recent years, the Tihama Plain faced changes in the rainy season, which reflect negatively on agriculture production and water security in the area. In this study the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was used to temporal evaluation of the situation of drought, also it has been used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to show the spatial variability distribution of drought in the study area. The analysis results by SPI-6 showed that the years 1984,1991,2002, 2003,2004,2005,2006 and 2008 were the most affected by drought during the study period 30 years (1980-2010), also show that the year 1991 was the worst years of drought experienced by the study area. Based on the fact that the study area is the most important agricultural areas in Yemen, it is recommended a study the drought and its impact on agricultural crops in the area.


Agricultural drought, Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), GIS, Spatial distribution, drought indicators, Tihama Plain

Full Text:



Al-Haddad.N.A. (2008). Geomorphological study of the phenomenon of sand dunes in the area of Zabid, (Master ἀesis) Department of Geography,   Sana’a University, Yemen.

AMS.(2004). Statement on meteorological drought. American Meteorological Society (AMS), Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 85, 771–773.

Andreadis, K. M., Clark, E. A., Wood, A. W., Hamlet, A. F., & Lettenmaier, D. P. (2005). Twentieth-century drought in the conterminous United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 6(6), 985-1001.

Bruns, B., & Taher, T. (2009). Yemen water user association study: Findings and recommendations for a problem-solving approach. Groundwater and Soil Conservation Project, Sana’a, Yemen.

Ceglar, A., Zalika, C., & Lucka, K. B. (2008). Analysis of meteorological drought in Slovenia with two drought indices.

Balwois, Ohrid.Dhaifallah, A.A. (2012). Spatial Variation of desertication in Hudeidah Governorate (Master ἀesis) Department of Geography, Thamar University, Yemen.

Dracup, J., K. Lee, & E. Paulson Jr. (1980). On the Defnition of Droughts. Water Resources Research, 16(2), 297–302.

Eklund, L., & Seaquist, J. (2015). Meteorological, agricultural and socioeconomic drought in the Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. Natural Hazards, 76 (1), 421-441.

ESCWA. (2005). Water Development Report 1: Vulnerability of the Region to Socio-Economic Drought. New York: United Nation. Available at:

Guttman, N.B.(1998). Comparing the Palmer drought index and the standardized precipitation index. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 34, 113-121.

Hayes, M., Svoboda, M., Wall, N., & Widhalm, M. (2011). The Lincoln declaration on drought indices: universal meteorological drought index recommended. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92(4), 485-488.

Lana, X., Serra, C., & Burgueno, A. (2002.) Patterns of monthly rainfall shortage and excess in terms of the standardized precipitation index for Catalonia. International Journal of Climatology. 21, 1669-1691.

McKee, T. B., Doesken, N. J. & Kleist, J. (1993). The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time scales. In Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Applied Climatology (Vol. 17, No. 22, pp. 179-183). Boston, MA, USA: American Meteorological Society.

McKee, T.B., Doesken, N.J., & Kleist, J. (1995). Drought monitoring with multiple time scales. In: Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Applied Climatology. American Meteorological Society, pp. 233-236.

Ministry of Agriculture & Irrigation, (2009). Yearbook Agricultural Census, Yemen. Available at:

Miyan, M. A. (2015). Droughts in Asian Least Developed Countries: Vulnerability and sustainability. Weather and Climate Extremes, 7, 8-23.

Raziei, T., Saghaᨀan, B., Paulo, A.A., Pereira, L.S., & Bordi, I. (2009). Spatial patterns and temporal variability of drought in Western Iran. Water Resources Management. 23, 439-455.

Roy, A. K., & Hirway, I. (2007). Multiple impacts of droughts and assessment of drought policy in major drought prone states in India. Gujarat, India: Centre for Development Alternatives.

Shah, R., Bharadiya, N. & Manekar, V. (2015). Drought Index Computation Using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) Method for Surat District, Gujarat. Aquatic Procedia, 4, 1243-1249.

Tihama Development Authority. (2010). Study land cover change in the Tihama plain, Hodeidah, Yemen.

UNDESA/ESCWA. (2013). Drought management planning in water-scarce and in-transitioning-settings countries in West Asia/North Africa. Beirut, Lebanon, 24-25 June 2013. Available at:

U.S.Agency for International Development & Ministry of Agriculture of Yemen. (1982). Agricultural Sector Assessment in Yemen Arab Republic. Sana’a. Available at:

Vergni, L. (2004). Agricultural drought: indices, devinition and analysis. ἀe Basis of Civilization--water Science? (286), 246.

Vidal, J. P., & Wade, S. (2009). A multimodal assessment of future climatological droughts in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Climatology, 29(14), 2056-2071.

Wiebelt, M., Breisinger, C., Ecker, O., Al-Riᬀai, P., Robertson, R., & ἀiele, R. (2011). Climate Change and Floods in Yemen.

WMO. (2012). Standardized Precipitation Index User Guide. (M. Svoboda, M. Hayes and D. Wood). (WMO-No. 1090), Geneva.World Bank. (1986). The World Bank annual report 1986. Washington, D.C 20433. Available at:


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 126 | views : 38


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Indonesian Journal of Geography Indexed by:

Image result for logo proquestISJD Indonesian Publication Index  Indonesia One SearchSINTACROSSREF

Accredited Journal, Based on Decree of the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia Number 12/M/Kp/II/2015, Dated 11 February 2015.

ISSN 2354-9114 (online), ISSN 0024-9521 (print)

2016 © Faculty of Geography, Universitas Gadjah Mada

All right reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.