|Published in||International Journal of Climatology, v. 37(S1):1237-1247|
Aliaga, V.S, Ferrelli, F, Piccolo, M.C..
The aim of this study was to classify and characterize the climate of the Pampas, a vast region in the centre of Argentina. Due to its territorial extension, a climatic zoning of the region was performed, based on the topography and the most relevant climatological parameters. Climate data from 33 stations of the National Meteorological Service were analysed considering the period 1960-2010. A cluster analysis from the hierarchical method of Ward with an interval squared Euclidean distance as a measure of dissimilarity was applied. The obtained clusters responded to the north-south temperature gradient of the Pampas, influenced by geographical features such as the Tandilia and Ventania hills in Buenos Aires Province and the Pampean hills in Córdoba. Precipitation had a northeast-southwest gradient, and the influence of the arid southwest diagonal of the Pampas was appreciated by determining a semi-arid environment. The proximity to the sea marked the average humidity values, whereas the winds of strong intensity were registered in the south and west of the region. On the other hand, the standard precipitation index was calculated to identify wet and dry cycles in each cluster. It allowed to characterize these events considering frequency, periodicity, duration and intensity, resulting in the definition of eight climatic subregions.