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Time series and empirical orthogonal transformation analysis was carried out for four (4) selected tropical sites, which are situated across the four different climatic zones, viz. Sahelian, Midland, Guinea savannah and Coastal region in Nigeria using measured monthly average daily global solar radiation, maximum and minimum temperatures, sunshine hours, rainfall, wind speed, cloud cover and relative humidity meteorological data during the period of thirty one years (1980-2010). Seasonal Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models were developed along with their respective statistical indicators of coefficient of determination (R2), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) and Mean Absolute Error (MAE). The results indicated that the models were found suitable for one step ahead global solar radiation forecast for the studied locations. Furthermore, the results of the time series analysis revealed that the model type for all the meteorological parameters show a combination of simple seasonal with one or more of either ARIMA, winter’s additive and winter’s multiplicative with the level been more significant as compared to the trend and seasonal variations for the exponential smoothing model parameters in all the locations. The results of the correlation matrix revealed that the global solar radiation is more correlated to the mean temperature except for Akure where it is more correlated to the sunshine hours; the mean temperature is more correlated to the global solar radiation; the rainfall is more correlated to the relative humidity and the relative humidity is more correlated to the rainfall in all the locations. The results of the component matrix revealed that three seasons are identified in Nguru located in the Sahelian region namely, the rainy, the cool dry (harmattan) and the hot dry seasons while in Zaria, Makurdi and Akure located in the Midland, Guinea savannah and Coastal zones two distinct seasons are identified namely, the rainy and dry seasons.
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