Assessment Of Severity Of The Meteorological Drought Over Dodoma Region
Mwamboneke, Tunsume Gideon
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Most drought studies have been dependent on limited rainfall data that is available in most parts of Tanzania. The new development in space technology, especially satellite derived products now provide new opportunities that can be used to study space- time characteristics of drought. Thus the main objective of this study is to assess meteorological drought severity using various indices over Dodoma region. Rainfall data used in this study was obtained from the Tanzania meteorological agency and was from 1985 to 2012 for Dodoma meteorological station and Hombolo agro meteorological station. The method used in this study includes the calculation of drought indices such as standardized precipitation index (SPI) from R- program and the drought severity index (DSI) derived from rainfall records using some standardized statistical methods. The two indices were compared for improving early warning system. The study has shown that drought indices based on SPI and DSI can provides realistic estimates of drought conditions. There were however some challenges in using these indices because they are mostly rainfall dependent. The study has provided a way of assessing the worse drought periods by means of SPI as well as DSI that could be used for regional drought monitoring in order to improve the early warning system.