Extension of the TAMSAT satellite-based rainfall monitoring over Africa and from 1983 to present

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Tarnavsky, Elena ; Grimes, David ; Maidment, Ross ; Black, Emily ; Allan, Richard ; Stringer, Marc ; Chadwick, Robin ; Kayitakire, Francois (2014)

Tropical Applications of Meteorology Using Satellite Data and Ground-Based Observations (TAMSAT) rainfall monitoring products have been extended to provide spatially contiguous rainfall estimates across Africa. This has been achieved through a new, climatology-based calibration, which varies in both space and time. As a result, cumulative estimates of rainfall are now issued at the end of each 10-day period (dekad) at 4-km spatial resolution with pan-African coverage. The utility of the products for decision making is improved by the routine provision of validation reports, for which the 10-day (dekadal) TAMSAT rainfall estimates are compared with independent gauge observations. This paper describes the methodology by which the TAMSAT method has been applied to generate the pan-African rainfall monitoring products. It is demonstrated through comparison with gauge measurements that the method provides skillful estimates, although with a systematic dry bias. This study illustrates TAMSAT’s value as a complementary method of estimating rainfall through examples of successful operational application.
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