Determination of Drought Characteristics Over Rwanda
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The extreme weather events such as drought, presents significant challenges worldwide. Drought assessment and monitoring have been seen as a critical component of drought management strategies. Rwanda, like many other developing countries faces, the effect of climate change and variability of climate variables like temperature and rainfall. This variation is mostly affecting the agricultural sector, which is the main contributor of economy. The essential knowledge of drought characteristics is needed to support decision making. Despite the existing research in this field, the need to quantify the characteristics of drought is inevitable. The use of Combined Drought Index (CDI) is more superior as it combines different climate variables to provide a robust index. This study aimed to determine the drought characteristics over Rwanda. The observed monthly maximum average temperature from 1983 to 2016 and monthly total rainfall data (1981 to 2016 ) both from ten Agro-synoptic stations were used, and obtained from Enhanced National Climates Services (ENACTS) dataset hosted by the Meteo Rwanda. The monthly NDVI data from (2000 to 2016) was obtained from Giovanni platform. The simulated temperature and rainfall from Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) Africa for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were also used. Model data was validated using observed data dated from (1983 to 2005). Spatial-temporal drought analysis for past (2000-2016) and future (2021-2050) was performed using Coefficient of Variability, time series analysis and CDI software. The results shows, all model follow the climatology of area under study. RCA4 driven by CNRM is performing well in simulating both temperature and rainfall compare to other models under validations. The past drought was higher at Eastern province for both spatial and temporal variation, and it had long duration at Nyagatare. The last two years of period under study present the signs of mild to moderate drought countrywide. Future drought conditions under both RC4.5 and RCP8.5 was computed, and the drought severity is increasing for both RCP4.5 and 8.5. The long drought duration is expected to be in western province for both RCPs. Drought under RCP8.5 is most severe compared to that of RCP4.5, and drought duration is long for RCP4.5 compare to RCP8.5. Drought is expected to start early of period under study at Western and Southern regions.
University of Nairobi
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