At the Climate Hazards Center, we use and support a variety of data products for monitoring and forecasting agroclimatic conditions in FEWS NET regions.
For a region's major cropping season, FEWS NET's science partners begin evaluating climate forecasts months to weeks before the expected onset to seasonal rainfall. After this point and for the duration of the season, the timeliness and quality of rainfall and vegetation response are closely monitored. Atypical conditions that might be negatively impacting rain fed crop and pasture development can often be identified by lengthy periods of below-average rainfall and substantial delays in rainfall onset, especially in short duration season areas. Products like CHIRPS-GEFS and the CHC Early Estimates are useful for gauging the severity and likelihood of continuation of rainfall deficits in the next two weeks.
To more throughly investigate agroclimatic conditions and for specific areas of concern, FEWS NET's science partners use a convergence of evidence approach. Key resources for this are in situ observations, field reports from FEWS NET regional scientists, and remotely sensed and modeled data. These assessments are used to support FEWS NET's food insecurity outlooks, of which the CHC actively contributes to. The CHC produces the CHIRPS data set, the new CHIRTS temperature data set, and provides custom data analyses to support FEWS NET food security outlooks.
Currently Featured Products
Currently featured are the latest CHIRPS-GEFS 15-day rainfall forecast (an unbiased GEFS forecast that is compatible with CHIRPS) and the CHC Early Estimates. The CHC Early Estimates are regional maps that show rainfall conditions for multiple accumulation periods useful for agroclimatic monitoring. Two types of these maps are available: the first type shows accumulations based on today's available CHIRPS data, which can be a combination of final and preliminary CHIRPS, while the second type extends this scenario into the next two weeks using the CHIRPS-GEFS forecast.
Many of the data products used in assessments are accessible through the FEWS NET Data Portal (click here.) FLDAS data products can also be accessed through NASA's website (click here for water stress and other products) and the NASA Giovanni portal. Additional products, including FLDAS modeled hydrologic variables based on CHIRPS Preliminary data and more variations of CHIRPS and CHIRPS-GEFS can be accessed through the Early Warning Explorer hosted by the CHC (click here.)