TAMSAT Research Group, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

TAMSAT Research Group

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

We investigate the use of satellite imagery for estimating rainfall and other surface water budget components mainly in Africa but also in other regions as required. Routine products of the group are a ten-daily (dekadal), monthly and seasonal rainfall estimates for Africa derived from Meteosat thermal infra-red (TIR) channels based on the recognition of convective storm clouds and calibration against ground-based rain gauge data. This methodology is used by AGHRYMET and by a number of African Meteorological Services to provide vital, up to the minute information on the state of the rainy season. Rainfall anomalies for each month are computed relative to our 10-year rainfall climatology of Africa (2000-2009). We are now in the process of extending the spatial coverage of our dataset to entire Africa and the temporal coverage to 30 years.

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JUL 2013 Follow us on Twitter

MAY 2013 1) Monthly validation reports of the dekadal (10-daily) TAMSAT rainfall estimates against independent, real-time gauge based observations are now available here -- these are issued shortly after the end of each month for that month's three dekads.
2) Note that as of 11 May 2013, all TAMSAT rainfall anomalies (dekadal, monthly, and seasonal) are calculated against the respective 30-year rainfall anomalies (1983-2012) instead of the previous 10-year anomalies (2000-2009).

FEB 2013 The TAMSAT Research group extends a warm welcome to our newly appointed Head of TAMSAT, Dr Emily Black, and Innovations Leader, Dr Ros Cornforth -- both prominent scientists in African meteorology and climate. Emily has research interests in using observational data, in conjunction with climate models, to investigate the processes underpinning variability and change in African rainfall. As Director of the Africa Climate Exchange (AfClix), Ros will work with our African colleagues to develop practical innovations for promoting resilience on the ground utilizing TAMSAT and TARCAT.

FEB 2012: The TARCAT v2.0 (TAMSAT African Rainfall Climatology And Time-series) dataset is now available through the 'Data' pages. QuickLook PNG images and NetCDF data files for dekadal, monthly, and seasonal rainfall estimates, 10-year climatologies and anomalies against the 10-year climatology are now available from 1983 to present. Monthly tercile anomalies against a 30-year climatology of monthly rainfall estimates will gradually become during 2012.

FEB 2012 TAMSAT is now on AFCLIX (Africa Climate Exchange). Follow Us on AFCLIX.

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: