Defining Philippine Climate Zones Using Surface and High-Resolution Satellite Data

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Journal Article
Procedia Computer Science, 2017, 114 pp. 324 - 332
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Philippine climate zones traditionally were classified from a rain-gauge network, using the Modified Coronas Classification (MCC). MCC uses average monthly rainfall totals to define four climate zones: Types I-IV. Types I and III have wet and dry seasons, whereas Types II and IV have wet seasons but no dry seasons. The present study redefines Philippine climate zones by applying cluster analysis to the average monthly rainfall amounts from surface-based rain-gauge observations, and dense, high-resolution satellite data from the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM). To determine the optimal number of climate type clusters, both single-linkage hierarchical and K-means cluster analysis algorithms were used, together with known characteristics of Philippine rainfall distributions and attributes. Employing single linkage hierarchical and K-means methods in tandem identified six different Philippine climate types, which is two climate types more than the currently accepted MCC climate classification. Due to the far greater number of TRMM observations compared with the rain gauge network, the study provides more clearly defined cluster characteristics including the spatial and temporal variability of climate divisions. This study uses known meteorological factors contributing to the identification of six distinct climate types. This paper is intended to assist agricultural stakeholders with planning and decision-making.
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