Ross Maidment, Emily Black, Helen Greatrex, Matthew Young

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Rainfall monitoring over Africa using satellite imagery is essential given the lack of land-based rainfall measurements and the dependency of economies largely based on climate-sensitive practices. Motivated by a need to monitor rainfall deficits and its impact on crop yield over the Sahel, the TAMSAT Group have, since the 1980s, helped pioneer the use of Meteosat thermal infrared (TIR) imagery for rainfall estimation using cold cloud duration (CCD). Unlike other TIR-based algorithms, the TAMSAT algorithm, which is calibrated using rain gauges, varies spatially and temporally to account for the strong spatial and seasonal changes in the rainfall climate across Africa. TAMSAT produce high-resolution (0.0375°), operational rainfall estimates from 1983 to the delayed present for all Africa, at the daily to seasonal time-step. Currently, TAMSAT is only one of a handful of datasets that provide long-term (+30 years) and sub-monthly rainfall estimates for Africa. The data, whose skill is comparable or better (depending on the metric) than other satellite products, are used by a variety of stakeholders in the commercial, humanitarian, agricultural and financial sectors. The temporal consistency and longevity of the TAMSAT record makes it a valuable dataset for climate monitoring and risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Global Change Research
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Global Change Research
ISSN (Print)1574-0919
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1621

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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