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Proceedings Paper

Agrometeorological information system for operational use in southern Africa
Author(s): David I. F. Grimes; Rogerio Bonifacio; Nawa Kawana
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Paper Abstract

Rainfall monitoring is of vital importance in many parts of Africa dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Rainfall monitoring algorithms using satellite imagery have been available for more than a decade. A number of countries make good use of these data but it remains disappointing that the methodology is not in more widespread use. A recent collaborative project between Reading University and the Zambian Meteorology Service has attempted to address this problem by focusing on two issues -- the accuracy of the estimates and the format of the final product. To improve accuracy, we have developed a geostatistical technique for merging satellite estimates with gauge data which takes account of the relative accuracies of the two data sets. To address the second issue we have developed a versatile software framework allowing the presentation of the rainfall information in a format tailored to the end-user. The final images are emailed as Word documents for easy incorporation into publications. The system has now run successfully for a full rainy season and response from the users has been positive. Crucial to successful implementation has been the involvement of local personnel and dialogue with the user community. Analysis of the first season's results show that the merged rainfall estimates are more accurate than either the satellite or the gauge data used separately.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 December 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3868, Remote Sensing for Earth Science, Ocean, and Sea Ice Applications, (17 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.373085
Show Author Affiliations
David I. F. Grimes, Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)
Rogerio Bonifacio, Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)
Nawa Kawana, Zambian Meteorology Dept. (Zambia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3868:
Remote Sensing for Earth Science, Ocean, and Sea Ice Applications
Giovanna Cecchi; Edwin T. Engman; Eugenio Zilioli, Editor(s)

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