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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 931;

East Africa Rainfall Trends and Variability 1983–2015 Using Three Long-Term Satellite Products

National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, CNR-ISAC, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Environmental Institute (IMA), University of León, 24071 Léon, Spain
Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Balearic Islands Office, 07015 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Essential Climate Variables and Their Applications)
PDF [24855 KB, uploaded 13 June 2018]


Daily time series from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Africa Rainfall Climatology version 2.0 (ARC2), Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) and Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite (TAMSAT) African Rainfall Climatology And Time series version 2 (TARCAT) high-resolution long-term satellite rainfall products are exploited to study the spatial and temporal variability of East Africa (EA, 5S–20N, 28–52E) rainfall between 1983 and 2015. Time series of selected rainfall indices from the joint CCl/CLIVAR/JCOMM Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices are computed at yearly and seasonal scales. Rainfall climatology and spatial patterns of variability are extracted via the analysis of the total rainfall amount (PRCPTOT), the simple daily intensity (SDII), the number of precipitating days (R1), the number of consecutive dry and wet days (CDD and CWD), and the number of very heavy precipitating days (R20). Our results show that the spatial patterns of such trends depend on the selected rainfall product, as much as on the geographic areas characterized by statistically significant trends for a specific rainfall index. Nevertheless, indications of rainfall trends were extracted especially at the seasonal scale. Increasing trends were identified for the October–November–December PRCPTOT, R1, and SDII indices over eastern EA, with the exception of Kenya. In March–April–May, rainfall is decreasing over a large part of EA, as demonstrated by negative trends of PRCPTOT, R1, CWD, and R20, even if a complete convergence of all satellite products is not achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite; precipitation; ETCCDI; drought indices; East Africa; trend analysis satellite; precipitation; ETCCDI; drought indices; East Africa; trend analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cattani, E.; Merino, A.; Guijarro, J.A.; Levizzani, V. East Africa Rainfall Trends and Variability 1983–2015 Using Three Long-Term Satellite Products. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 931.

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