Retrieving air humidity, global solar radiation, and reference evapotranspiration from daily temperatures: development and validation of new methods for Mexico. Part I: humidity
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This study evaluates the dew point method (Allen et al. 1998) to estimate atmospheric vapor pressure from minimum temperature, and proposes an improved model to estimate it from maximum and minimum temperature. Both methods were evaluated on 786 weather stations in Mexico. The dew point method induced positive bias in dry areas but also negative bias in coastal areas, and its average root mean square error for all evaluated stations was 0.38 kPa. The improved model assumed a bi-linear relation between estimated vapor pressure deficit (difference between saturated vapor pressure at minimum and average temperature) and measured vapor pressure deficit. The parameters of these relations were estimated from historical annual median values of relative humidity. This model removed bias and allowed for a root mean square error of 0.31 kPa. When no historical measurements of relative humidity were available, empirical relations were proposed to estimate it from latitude and altitude, with only a slight degradation on the model accuracy (RMSE = 0.33 kPa, bias = −0.07 kPa). The applicability of the method to other environments is discussed.
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