Ref: SCART-2022-0040

Understanding the Present-Day Spatiotemporal Variability of Precipitable Water Vapor over Ethiopia: A Comparative Study between ERA5 and GPS

Kawo, Abdisa ; Van Malderen, Roeland ; Pottiaux, Eric ; Van Schaeybroeck, Bert

published in Remote Sensing, 14 issue 3 (2022)

Abstract: Atmospheric water vapor plays a crucial role in atmospheric, climate change, meteorological, and hydrological processes. In a country like Ethiopia, with its complex topography and synoptic-scale spatiotemporal circulation patterns, the analysis of the spatiotemporal variability of precipitable water vapor (PWV) is very challenging, and is hampered by the lack of long observational datasets. In this study, we process the PWV over eight Ethiopian global positioning system (GPS) sites and one close to the Ethiopian eastern border, for the available common period 2013-2020, and compare with the PWV retrieved from the state-of-the-art ERA5 reanalysis. Both PWV datasets agree very well at our sample, with correlation coefficients between 0.96 and 0.99, GPS-PWV show a moderate wet bias compared to ERA5-PWV for the majority of the sites, and an overall root mean square error of 3.4 mm. Seasonal and diurnal cycles are also well captured by these datasets. The seasonal variations of PWV and precipitation at the sites agree very well. Maximum diurnal PWV amplitudes are observed for stations near water bodies or dense vegetation, such as Arbaminch (ARMI) and Bahir Dar (BDMT). At those stations, the PWV behavior at heavy rainfall events has been investigated and an average 25% increase (resp. decrease) from 12 h before (resp. 12 h after) the start of the rainfall event, when the PWV peaks, has been observed.

Keyword(s): Ethiopia ; precipitable water vapor ; GPS ; ERA5
DOI: 10.3390/rs14030686
Links: link

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Reference Systems & Planetology
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles
Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence

 Record created 2022-02-04, last modified 2022-02-04