Global assessment of the standardized evapotranspiration deficit index (SEDI) for drought analysis and monitoring

Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano, Diego G. Miralles, Fernando Domínguez-Castro, Cesar Azorin-Molina, Ahmed El Kenawy, Tim R. Mcvicar, Miquel Tomás-Burguera, Santiago Beguería, Marco Maneta, Marina Peña-Gallardo

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92 Scopus citations


This article developed and implemented a new methodology for calculating the standardized evapotranspiration deficit index (SEDI) globally based on the log-logistic distribution to fit the evaporation deficit (ED), the difference between actual evapotranspiration (ETa) and atmospheric evaporative demand (AED). Our findings demonstrate that, regardless of the AED dataset used, a log-logistic distribution most optimally fitted the ED time series. As such, in many regions across the terrestrial globe, the SEDI is insensitive to the AEDmethod used for calculation, with the exception of winter months and boreal regions. The SEDI showed significant correlations (p < 0.05) with the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) across a wide range of regions, particularly for short ( < 3 month) SPEI time scales. This work provides a robust approach for calculating spatially and temporally comparable SEDI estimates, regardless of the climate region and land surface conditions, and it assesses the performance and the applicability of the SEDI to quantify drought severity across varying crop and natural vegetation areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5371-5393
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Climate variability
  • Drought
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Hydrometeorology
  • Indices


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