Flood forecasting in Niger-Benue basin using satellite and quantitative precipitation forecast data
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Haile, Alemseged Tamiru; Tefera, F. T.; Rientjes, T. 2016. Flood forecasting in Niger-Benue basin using satellite and quantitative precipitation forecast data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 52:475-484. doi: 10.1016/j.jag.2016.06.021
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/77845
Availability of reliable, timely and accurate rainfall data is constraining the establishment of flood forecasting and early warning systems in many parts of Africa. We evaluated the potential of satellite and weather forecast data as input to a parsimonious flood forecasting model to provide information for flood early warning in the central part of Nigeria. We calibrated the HEC-HMS rainfall-runoff model using rainfall data from post real time Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi satellite Precipitation Analysis product (TMPA). Real time TMPA satellite rainfall estimates and European Centre for MediumRange Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) rainfall products were tested for flood forecasting. The implication of removing the systematic errors of the satellite rainfall estimates (SREs) was explored. Performance of the rainfall-runoff model was assessed using visual inspection of simulated and observed hydrographs and a set of performance indicators. The forecast skill was assessed for 1–6 days lead time using categorical verification statistics such as Probability Of Detection (POD), Frequency Of Hit (FOH) and Frequency Of Miss (FOM). The model performance satisfactorily reproduced the pattern and volume of the observed stream flow hydrograph of Benue River. Overall, our results show that SREs and rainfall forecasts from weather models have great potential to serve as model inputs for real-time flood forecasting in data scarce areas. For these data to receive application in African transboundary basins, we suggest (i) removing their systematic error to further improve flood forecast skill; (ii) improving rainfall forecasts; and (iii) improving data sharing between riparian countries.
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