Evaluation of methods of spatial interpolation for monthly rainfall data over the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Five deterministic methods of spatial interpolation of monthly rainfall were compared over the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeast Brazil. The methods were the inverse distance weight (IDW), nearest neighbor (NRN), triangulation with linear interpolation (TLI), natural neighbor (NN), and spline tension (SPT). A set of 110 weather stations was used to test the methods. The selection of stations had two criteria: time series longer than 20 years and period of data from 1960 to 2009. The methods were evaluated using cross-validation, linear regression between values observed and interpolated, root mean square error (RMSE), coefficient of determination ( r 2), coefficient of variation (CV, %), and the Willmott index of agreement ( d). The results from different methods are influenced by the meteorological systems and their seasonality, as well as by the interaction with the topography. The methods presented higher precision ( r 2) and accuracy ( d, RMSE) during the summer and transition to autumn, in comparison with the winter or spring months. The SPT had the highest precision and accuracy in relation to other methods, in addition to having a good representation of the spatial patterns expected for rainfall over the complex terrain of the state and its high spatial variability.