TAMSAT Research Group, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading



TAMSAT's Operational products are:

  • Daily and ten-daily (dekadal) cumulative rainfall estimates issued on the 1st, 11th, and 21st of the month
  • Monthly cumulative rainfall estimates issued on the 1st of the following month
  • Seasonal cumulative rainfall estimates issued on 1st March, 1st June, 1st September, and 1st December

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

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

Use of TAMSAT data

If you make use of TAMSAT data, please observe the TAMSAT Data Policy and any other references from our list of publications as relevant. The current release constitutes the TAMSAT African Rainfall Climatology And Time-series dataset referred to as TARCAT Version 2.0. Note that the TARCAT v2.0 dataset released in January 2012 replaces any previous TAMSAT dataset versions.

TARCAT v2.0 Data Access

Click on a menu link to the left to view and access our near real-time and archived rainfall estimates and derived products back to January 1983.

The full datasets of dekadal and monthly RFEs and RFE anomalies are freely available to download:

TAMSAT dekadal rainfall estimates 1983-present

TAMSAT dekadal rainfall anomalies 1983-present

TAMSAT monthly rainfall estimates 1983-present

TAMSAT monthly rainfall anomalies 1983-present

TAMSAT seasonal rainfall estimates 1983-present

TAMSAT seasonal rainfall anomalies 1983-present

Daily data can be downloaded using hidden links, like the one below (replace 1998 with your year of interest): http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~tamsat/public_data/1998/TAMSAT_rfe_daily1998.zip

When using the data, in accordance with our data policy, you are requested to cite the following papers: Tarnavsky, E., D. Grimes, R. Maidment, E. Black, R. Allan, M. Stringer, R. Chadwick, F. Kayitakire (2014) Extension of the TAMSAT Satellite-based Rainfall Monitoring over Africa and from 1983 to present Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climate DOI 10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0016.1 Maidment, R., D. Grimes, R.P.Allan, E. Tarnavsky, M. Stringer, T. Hewison, R. Roebeling and E. Black (2014) The 30 year TAMSAT African Rainfall Climatology And Time series (TARCAT) data set Journal of Geophysical Research DOI: 10.1002/2014JD021927 Please refer to the filenaming convention below for details and cite the online database as follows:

TARCAT (TAMSAT African Rainfall Climatology And Time-series) v2.0 Online Database. Available from: http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~tamsat/data/.

Filenaming convention:

dd is the two-character day, [01-31]
dk is the dekad, [1-3]
MM is the two-character month, [01-12]
MM_seas is the end-of-season month, i.e. 02, 05, 08, or 11
YYYY is the four-character year, [1983 to present]
YYYY-YYYY is the year range of the climatology, e.g. 1983-2012

Data Format

For more information on NetCDF data, please refer to UNIDATA's web site.

NetCDF Data Viewers & Software

SPIRITS (Software for the Processing and Interpretation of Remotely Sensed Image Time Series) is a very functional tool for analysis of time series of periodic composites, derived from medium or low resolution Earth Observation sensors such as SPOT-VEGETATION, NOAA-AVHRR, METOP-AVHRR, TERRA/AQUA MODIS, and MSG-SEVIRI, as well as related climatic datasets such as satellite derived rainfall estimates, including the TAMSAT rainfall estimates in NetCDF format.

ILWIS Open is a useful, PC-based GIS & Remote Sensing software package developed by ITC, University of Twente. The ISOD toolbox for ILWIS Open enables easy access to online data archives (including TAMSAT data) and supports their subsequent, efficient geospatial processing with ILWIS Open.

Download ILWIS Open here

Download ISOD toolbox here

For further information, please refer to the ISOD Toolbox Installation and User Manual

Panoply is a useful, cross-platform application for visualisation and simple manipulation of NetCDF (as well as HDF and GRIB) data that is available from NASA GISS (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Institute for Space Studies).