Central equatorial Africa is deficient in long-term, ground-based measurements of rainfall; therefore, the aim of this study is to assess the accuracy of three high-resolution, satellite-based rainfall products in western Uganda for the 2001–10 period. The three products are African Rainfall Climatology, version 2 (ARC2); African Rainfall Estimation Algorithm, version 2 (RFE2); and 3B42 from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, version 7 (i.e., 3B42v7). Daily rainfall totals from six gauges were used to assess the accuracy of satellite-based rainfall estimates of rainfall days, daily rainfall totals, 10-day rainfall totals, monthly rainfall totals, and seasonal rainfall totals. The northern stations had a mean annual rainfall total of 1390 mm, while the southern stations had a mean annual rainfall total of 900 mm. 3B42v7 was the only product that did not underestimate boreal-summer rainfall at the northern stations, which had ~3 times as much rainfall during boreal summer than did the southern stations. The three products tended to overestimate rainfall days at all stations and were borderline satisfactory at identifying rainfall days at the northern stations; the products did not perform satisfactorily at the southern stations. At the northern stations, 3B42v7 performed satisfactorily at estimating monthly and seasonal rainfall totals, ARC2 was only satisfactory at estimating seasonal rainfall totals, and RFE2 did not perform satisfactorily at any time step. The satellite products performed worst at the two stations located in rain shadows, and 3B42v7 had substantial overestimates at those stations.



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Journal of Hydrometeorology


American Meteorological Society

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