Posted on Sun, 17 Jun 2018 by colinc
This amazing product allows for retreival of precipitation observations in areas where very few ground based observations exist (Africa, Asia, South America, etc).
Accurate precipitation is critical for many industries. For example, an Agronomist may be interested in the impact a recent rainstorm on agriculture output in central Africa. Reliance on stations (gauge based) precipitation would be inadaquate, because there are less than 500 total reporting stations in central Africa!
Weather Stations reporting precipitation in Central Africa
Multi-sensor satellite observations allow for visibility into rainfall in areas that have little to no station coverage! Credits: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce - NASA
In the example above, over 50-150 mm of rainfall fell over areas of south Uganda, and western Kenya between April 27 and May 4, 2018. This rainfall fell over a drought stricken area, and resulted in displacement of over 200,000 people, and over 100 deaths.
Well, did weather stations pick up this rainfall? Let's check!
|Location||Station precipitation (mm)||Satellite precipitation (mm)|
|Kampala, Uganda||0 mm||50 mm|
|Bungoma, Kenya||0 mm||77 mm|
|Sigatu Island (Lake Victoria)||0 mm||110 mm|
|Provider||Precipitation (Kampala, UG)||Precipitation (Bungoma, KE)|
|DarkSky||0 mm||0 mm|
|OpenWeathermap||0 mm||0 mm|
|Weatherbit||50 mm||77 mm|
According to other providers, it was a nice week in Kampala. Not a drop of rain fell from the sky. While our satellite backed observations paint a different picture:
Flooding Kampala, Uganda - May 4th, 2018
Accurate precipitation is critical for many industries. Station based precipitation alone is not enough to analyze rainfall! Especially over areas with little to no station coverage, or a history of poor data controls. We hope you will enjoy this update! We have many more coming soon.
The Weatherbit API Team