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Comparison of TAMSAT and CPC rainfall estimates with raingauges, for southern Africa

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Two different TAMSAT (Tropical Applications of Meteorological Satellites) methods of rainfall estimation were developed for northern and southern Africa, based on Meteosat images. These two methods were used to make rainfall estimates for the southern rainy season from October 1995 to April 1996. Estimates produced by both TAMSAT methods and estimates produced by the CPC (Climate Prediction Center) method were then compared with kriged data from over 800 raingauges in southern Africa. This shows that operational TAMSAT estimates are better over plateau regions, with 59% of estimates within one standard error (s.e.) of the kriged rainfall. Over mountainous regions the CPC approach is generally better, although all methods underestimate and give only 40% of estimates within 1 s.e. The two TAMSAT methods show little difference across a whole season, but when looked at in detail the northern method gives unsatisfactory calibrations. The CPC method does have significant overall improvements by building in real-time raingauge data, but only where sufficient raingauges are available.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, PO Box 243, Reading, RG6 6BB, England, UK

Publication date: 2001-07-10

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