Testing the accuracy of high-resolution satellite-based and numerical model output precipitation products over Ethiopia

Getachew Dubache, Birhanu Asmerom, Waheed Ullah, Bob ALex Ogwang, Farshad Amiraslani, Zhu Weijun, Chaman Gul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


The indirect rainfall estimates by satellites and numerical models are the alternative options for the regions lacking enough and accurate ground observations. However, these indirect estimates often lack homogeneity and need to be evaluated before application. This study used gauge observations to test the accuracy of recently produced high-resolution satellite-based and numerical model output rainfall products over Ethiopia. Tropical Applications of Meteorology Using Satellite data and Ground-Based Observations (TAMSAT v3.1), Climate Hazard group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS v2.0), and the ERA5 reanalysis products were evaluated at monthly, seasonal, and annual temporal scales for the years 1992–2009. The satellite products showed nearly similar characteristics with much better accuracy than the model reanalysis output, which underestimated the rainfall amounts. Both satellite and reanalysis products captured the shapes of the rainfall at a monthly scale but less accurately at a seasonal scale. In general, the satellite-based products outperformed the reanalysis data set with a high correlation coefficient and index of agreement values, as well as low Root Mean Square Error and BIAS values. On the other hand, the reanalysis (ERA5) product showed a considerable underestimation in all sites. Therefore, satellite-based products are more reliable for researches in the region. However, the algorithms in both satellites need further calibration for a better estimation of seasonal rainfall amounts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number561
Pages (from-to)1127-1142
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to the University of Reading for the financial support and National Meteorology Agency of Ethiopia for providing the meteorological data. Thanks to Dr. Loza B. for the technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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