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Training Workshop, Africa 2017

EUMETSAT Workshop on the Use of Gridded Satellite Data for Climate Services in Africa

November 2017/ Pretoria/ South Africa

For the second time EUMETSAT carried out a workshop to present its climate data records especially to the African user community. The workshop was kindly hosted by the South African Weather Service in Pretoria. Out of 80 applications 18 participants from African Regional Climate Centers, African Weather Services and African Universities were selected. The workshop contained a two weeks online phase, which introduced the basics of satellite-based climate monitoring, the CM SAF and its data records and the software for the workshop. The CM SAF R Toolbox is designed to prepare, analyze and visualize CM SAF NetCDF data (, while R-Instat provides statistics tools for the analysis of station data (

During the classroom phase (20 to 24 November 2017) the participants worked on their selected individual projects using CM SAF data. These projects showed nicely how the CM SAF R Toolbox and R-Instat complement each other. The CM SAF R Toolbox was used to prepare the CM SAF data files and to analyze and visualize the data, while R-Instat was used to compare CM SAF data and corresponding station measurements and for more advanced statistical time series analysis. Most of the participants have never worked with satellite-based data before. Even more amazing were the results of their various mini projects. Among other topics, the participants analyzed the connection of ENSO and surface radiation in Ethiopia, differences in CM SAF CFC data records, the correlation of 2m-temperature and CM SAF LST in Kenia, the estimation of the solar energy potential for Kenia or comparisons of station-based sunshine duration and CM SAF SDU in Morocco and Ghana.
The discussions and the interactions with the participants during the workshop provided very helpful feedback on the ordering process of CM SAF data in Africa, on important improvements of the CM SAF R Toolbox and on the requirements on satellite-based data records for African users.

During this workshop people from 15 countries, with different educational backgrounds and languages came together to learn about CM SAF data records and their usage. This workshop showed new perspectives for their daily work and for future research by the application of satellite-based climate data. But, even more important, this workshop was the basis for new ideas, cooperations and friendships.

group pictureThe participants and lecturers in front of the SAWS building in Pretoria. Source: EUMETSAT

Training CentreSAWS offers excellent facilities for satellite training. Source: Steffen Kothe

TrainingThe participants work on own projects. Source: Steffen Kothe

ResultsExamples of results from mini projects.

CertificateIn the end of the workshop each participant receives a certificate. Source: Steffen Kothe

SK / November 2017

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