Development and Assessment of Localized Seasonal Rainfall Prediction Models: Mapping and Characterizing Rift Valley Fever Hotspot Areas in the Southern and Southeastern Ethiopia

  •  Ephrem Weledekidane    


Rift Valley Fever disease has been recognized as being among permanent threats for the sustainability of livestock production in Ethiopia, owing to shared boarders with RVF endemic countries in East Africa. Above-normal and widespread rainfall have outweighed as immediate risk factor that facilitated historical outbreaks of the disease in the East Africa. The objective of the present study, thus, was to develop prospective localized seasonal rainfall anomaly prediction models, and assess their skills as early indicators to map high risk localized rift valley fever disease outbreak areas (hotspots) over the southern and southeastern part of Ethiopia. 21 years of daily rainfall data; for five meteorological stations, was employed in diagnosing existences of any anomalous patterns of rainfall, along with a cumulative rainfall analysis to determine if there were ideal conditions for potential flooding. The results indicated that rainfall in the region is highly variable; with non-significant trends, and attributed to be the results of the effects of large-scale climatic-teleconnection. The moderate to strong positive correlations found between the regional average rainfall and large scale teleconnection variables (r ≥ 0.48), indicated some potentials for early prediction of seasonal patterns of rainfall. Accordingly, models developed, based on the regional average rainfall and emerging developments of El Niño/Southern Oscillation and other regional climate forcings, showed maximum skills (ROC scores ≥ 0.7) and moderate reliability. Deterministically, most of the positive rainfall anomaly patterns, corresponding to El Niño years, were portrayed with some skills. The study demonstrated that localized climate prediction models are invaluable as early indicators to skillfully map climatically potential RVF hotspot areas.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1913-9063
  • Issn(Onlne): 1913-9071
  • Started: 2008
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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