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The State of Rain
updated: May 14, 2014, 11:28 AM

Source: UCSB

Using modern weather satellites to monitor rainfall has become a robust, widely practiced technique. However, establishing a reliable context for relating space-based rainfall observations to current and historical ground-based rainfall data has been difficult.

A new dataset developed in partnership between UC Santa Barbara and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) can be used for environmental monitoring and drought early warning. The Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS), a collaboration between UCSB's Climate Hazards Group and USGS's Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) couples rainfall data observed from space with more than three decades of rainfall data collected at ground stations worldwide.

"This dataset seeks to blend the best qualities of rainfall station observations, satellite temperature data and rainfall's unique spatial characteristics to create the best available rainfall information for climate and agricultural monitoring," said Gregory J. Husak, an assistant researcher with the Climate Hazards Group in UCSB's Department of Geography.

The new dataset allows experts who specialize in the early warning of drought and famine to monitor rainfall in near real-time, at a high resolution, over most of the globe. CHIRPS data can be incorporated into climate models, along with other meteorological and environmental data, to project future agricultural and vegetation conditions.

To view the complete story go to news.ucsb.edu

 

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