The Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) is a promising initiative aiming to install 20,000 stations in sub-Saharan Africa counteracting the decreasing trend of available measuring stations. To achieve this goal, it is particularly important that the installed weather stations are cost-efficient, appropriate for African conditions, and reliably measure the most important variables for hydro-meteorological applications. Since there exist no performance studies of TAHMO stations while operating in Africa, it is necessary to investigate their performance under different climate conditions. This study provides a first analysis of the performance of 10 selected TAHMO stations across Burkina Faso (BF). More specifically, the analysis consists of missing value statistics, plausibility tests of temperature (minimum, maximum) and precipitation, spatial dependencies (correlograms) by comparison with daily observations from synoptical stations of the BF meteorological service as well as cross-comparison between the TAHMO stations. Based on the results of this study for BF for the period from May 2017 to December 2020, it is concluded that TAHMO potentially offers a reliable and cost-efficient solution for applications in hydro-meteorology. The usage of wind speed measurements cannot be recommended without reservation, at least not without bias correcting of the data. The limited measurement period of TAHMO still prevents its usability in climate (impact) research. It is also stressed that TAHMO cannot replace existing observation networks operated by the local meteorological services, but it can be a complement and has great potential for detailed spatial analyses. Since restricted to BF in this analysis, more evaluation studies of TAHMO are needed considering different environmental and climate conditions across SSA.
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