Climate is a powerful driver of agricultural and natural systems, and spatial climate datasets are currently in great demand. This is especially true in the Arequipa Department of Peru, a region with low seasonal precipitation, remarkable topographic variability, and significant water demand in a highly managed water system. This paper presents the Arequipa Climate Maps (ACM) datasets, a high resolution (1 km) spatial 30-year (1988–2017) climate dataset for the Arequipa Region, in Peru. Four interpolation methods, and combinations of those methods, were tested to produce 30 years of daily precipitation, maximum and minimum air temperature: Ordinary Kriging (OK), Thin Plate Splines (TPS), Regression Kriging (RK), and Regression Thin Plate Splines (RTPS). The mixed method RTPS-TPS and RTPS using locally fitted polynomial and potential regressions were found to best represent the spatial variability of precipitation and daily extreme temperatures, respectively, and helped compensate the bias resulting from the lack of weather stations at higher elevations. These methods were then selected to create the ACM dataset, which contains climate maps of 30-year annual and monthly climate normals (ACM–Normals) and 30 years of annual, monthly, and daily climate maps (ACM–YMD). In addition, insights on weather station gap filling in mountainous areas and bias corrections for avoidance of anomalous precipitation and to assure consistency between annual, monthly and daily data are presented, together with discussion about the quality and limitations of the dataset, and its comparison with other datasets.
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© 2022 The Authors. International Journal of Climatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Meteorological Society.