Evaluation and comparison of satellite-based rainfall products in Burkina Faso, West Africa

Moctar Dembélé*, Sander J. Zwart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: The performance of seven operational high-resolution satellite-based rainfall products – Africa Rainfall Estimate Climatology (ARC 2.0), Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN), African Rainfall Estimation (RFE 2.0), Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite (TAMSAT), African Rainfall Climatology and Time-series (TARCAT), and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) daily and monthly estimates – was investigated for Burkina Faso. These were compared to ground data for 2001–2014 on a point-to-pixel basis at daily to annual time steps. Continuous statistics was used to assess their performance in estimating and reproducing rainfall amounts, and categorical statistics to evaluate rain detection capabilities. The north–south gradient of rainfall was captured by all products, which generally detected heavy rainfall events, but showed low correlation for rainfall amounts. At daily scale they performed poorly. As the time step increased, the performance improved. All (except TARCAT) provided excellent scores for Bias and Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency coefficients, and overestimated rainfall amounts at the annual scale. RFE performed the best, whereas TARCAT was the weakest. Choice of product depends on the specific application: ARC, RFE, and TARCAT for drought monitoring, and PERSIANN, CHIRPS, and TRMM daily for flood monitoring in Burkina Faso.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3995-4014
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of remote sensing
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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