TAMSAT Research Group, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

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TAMSAT stands for Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite data and ground-based observations.

We use satellite imagery, calibrated against ground observations for estimating rainfall for Africa.

Operational TAMSAT products are:

All the products are provided at 4km resolution for the whole of Africa.

In addition, we issue rainfall anomalies relative to a 1983-2012 climatology.

TAMSAT rainfall estimates are derived from Meteosat thermal infra-red (TIR) channels based on the recognition of convective storm clouds and calibration against ground-based rain gauge data.

TARCAT is a pan-African dataset comprised of TAMSAT rainfall estimates from 1983 to the delayed present

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MAR 2015 TAMSAT research scientist, Ross Maidment's PhD thesis on the development of the TARCAT dataset has won the 2014 Ian James prize. The Ian James prize is awarded to the best PhD thesis submitted from the University of Reading's Meteorology Department.

FEB 2015 Published in Remote Sensing: Evaluation of Satellite Rainfall Estimates for Drought and Flood Monitoring in Mozambique by Tote, C., Patricio, D., Boogaard, H., van der Wijngaart, R., Tarnavsky, E., and C. Funk. Available open access here.

JAN 2015 The TARCAT paper by Maidment et al. (2014) appears in the JGR Editor Highlight.

DEC 2014 Just published in Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology by Tarnavsky et al. Extension of the TAMSAT Satellite-Based Rainfall Monitoring over Africa and from 1983 to Present and in Journal of Hydrometeorology by Matt Young, Charlie Williams, Christine Chiu, Ross Maidment and Shu-Hua Chen: Investigation of discrepancies in satellite rainfall estimates over Ethiopia.

NOV 2014 Elena Tarnavsky (TAMSAT operations lead) has won a grant from the Walker Insitute to collaborate with FEWSNet and the World Food Programme on a scoping study for the development of user-relevant satellite applications.

NOV 2014 A beta version of TAMSAT's new time series visualization and data extraction tool is now available. Data can be downloaded and plotted for user defined rectangular regions, user defined individual pixels and countries: TAMSAT data visualization tool

OCT 2014 Elena Tarnavsky and Ross Maidment represented TAMSAT at the Information for Meeting Africa's Agricultural Transformation and Food Security Goals (IMAAFS) conference in Addis Abada, Ethiopia

SEP 2014 Emily Black and Ross Maidment represented TAMSAT at the EUMETSAT user forum in Johannesburg

SEP 2014 The paper describing the TARCAT dataset has been published in Journal of Geophysical Research Maidment et al, 2014

AUG 2014 TAMSAT hosted a workshop on merging satellite and gauge data, with participants from the Ghana Meteorological Agency, the Zambia Meteorological Department, the University of Maseno, the International Research Institute (IRI) and the Grantham Institute. The workshop was supported by USAID and CCAFS.

JAN 2014 Daily TAMSAT rainfall estimates are now available for 2013 onwards. Daily rainfall estimates are issued at the end of the dekad: Dekadal, monthly, seasonal and daily rainfall estimates .

OCT 2013 Through a partnership with MicroEnsure, TAMSAT data are being incorporated into weather index insurance contracts in several countries, including Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

JUL 2013 Follow us on Twitter

JUN 2013 TAMSAT hosted a workshop on the use of satellite data in weather index insurance, with participants from the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Project, Innovations for Poverty Action (Ghana), MicroEnsure, the International Research Institute (IRI), the Joint Research Centre and the Grantham Institute. The workshop was supported by two NERC grants.

FEB 2013 Emily Black has been appointed leader of TAMSAT.

JAN 2012 Very sadly, due to the sudden onset of a rare terminal illness we have lost Dr David Grimes, Research Coordinator and Leader of TAMSAT since the mid-1990s.

JUL 2011: The TAMSAT group were very honoured to receive the 2010 Royal Meteorological Society's IBM Award for Meteorogical Innovation that Matters and hope in the future to continue to work productively with African Met services and NGOs.

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TAMSAT Operational Activities

Currently, we are providing dekadal, monthly, and seasonal rainfall totals and anomalies to the European Commission Joint Research Centre FOODSEC Action.

Since May 2010 TAMSAT rainfall estimates are available via GEONETCast. As of May 2013, rainfall anomalies are calculated against a 30-year rainfall climatology (1983-2012) and are also disseminated in near-real time via GEONETCast. Search for TAMSAT in the query box here to find out what TAMSAT data are currently disseminated via GEONETCast.

We are also providing dekadal cold cloud duration (CCD) data to the Sudan Meteorological Authority for use in their monthly and seasonal monitoring bulletins of the current crop growing season: