Gitau, W, Camberlin P, Ogallo L, Bosire E.  2018.  Trends of Intraseasonal Descriptors of Wet and Dry Spells over Equatorial Eastern Africa. International Journal of Climatology. 38(3):1189-1200. AbstractRoyal Meteorological Society

Many African countries whose economies are largely based on weather/climate sensitive sectors are vulnerable to long‐term changes in weather and climate. This study is aimed at assessing whether the recent decades have observed any significant trend in the intraseasonal descriptors (ISDs) of wet and dry spells at local and sub‐regional levels at seasonal and monthly timescales over equatorial eastern Africa (EEA). Daily rainfall observations over 36 stations and spanning a period of 51 years (1962–2012) were used.

The study has expanded on previous results that showed contrasting trends on seasonal totals between the two rainfall seasons by demonstrating that this also affects the ISDs. At the local level, it was observed that during the long rainfall season, a given ISD would have a significant trend over several neighbouring locations, which was not the case during the short rainfall season. Secondly, for the short rainfall season, a given location would have significant trend in several ISDs. Finally, when a given ISD had a significant trend at seasonal timescale during the long rainfall season, the same ISD would have significant trends in the second and third months of the season and rarely in the first month. Such a feature was not observed for the short rainfall season. Binomial probability distribution assessment confirmed that the significant trends in the various ISDs during the long rainfall season did not occur by mere chance.


Bosire, E, Opijah F, Gitau W.  2015.  Assessing the skill of precipitation forecasts on seasonal time scales over East Africa from a Climate Forecast System model. Global Meteorology. 3(1) AbstractGlobal Meteorology

It is becoming increasingly important to be able to verify the skill of precipitation forecasts, especially with the advent of high-resolution numerical weather prediction models. This study focused on assessing the skill of climate forecast system (CFS) model in predicting rainfall on seasonal time scales over East Africa region for the period January 1981 to December 2009. The rainfall seasons considered were March to May (MAM) and October to December (OND). The data used in the study included the observed seasonal rainfall totals from January 1981 to December 2009 and CFS model forecast data for the same period. The model had 15 Runs. The measure of skill employed was the categorical skill scores and included Heidke skill scores, bias, probability of detection and false alarm ratio. The results from the categorical skill scores confirmed relatively higher skills during OND season as compared to MAM. When compared with individual Runs, the mean of all the 15 Runs depicted relatively higher accuracy during OND season. Some individual Runs – 1, 7, 9 and 10 – also performed better during OND season. During MAM season, the mean of all the 15 Runs showed relatively lower accuracy in predicting rainfall. Some individual Runs – 5, 10, 12 and 14 – performed better than the mean of all the 15 Runs. The prediction of seasonal rainfall over East Africa region using CFS model depends on the season considered. During MAM, the prediction of seasonal rainfall is better as Runs are fewer, which showed relatively higher averaged skills; on the other hand, during OND the prediction of seasonal rainfall is better when using the mean of all the 15 Runs.


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