UCI Engineers Host Workshops in East Africa on UCI-developed Precipitation Technology

Soroosh Sorooshian, UCI Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering, instructs participants on the capabilities of the UCI-developed Precipitation Estimation From Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks system at a July workshop in Kampala, Uganda, for East African meteorologists and researchers. UCIAugust 3, 2018 - Since water is increasingly scarce in arid East Africa, the region’s scientists and engineers have an ongoing need to know about the latest satellite precipitation data and information systems. Experts from UCI’s Center for Hydrometeorology & Remote Sensing traveled to Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, in July to host workshops for government meteorologists and researchers from institutions in member states of the East African CommunitySoroosh Sorooshian, UCI Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering, instructed participants on the capabilities of the UCI-developed Precipitation Estimation From Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks system. Launched in 1997, PERSIANN has evolved since then through continuous updates and additions and now includes a cloud classification system and a climate data record. Sorooshian’s colleague Phu Nguyen, UCI assistant adjunct professor of civil & environmental engineering, taught workshop attendees how to download and use the iRain smartphone app, a free, publicly available interface to the PERSIANN system. Developed by Nguyen and his collaborators at UCI and launched in 2016, iRain is available on iPhone and Android mobile devices. The app allows users to see real-time satellite precipitation readings, track extreme events locally and globally, and enter their own observations. “This workshop was quite useful to us from Tanzania. The use of satellite-based rainfall estimates is of growing importance due to the limitations of ground gauge stations,” said Subira Munishi, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. “I appreciated the willingness of the instructors to work closely with us during the workshop, even going so far as to present the science behind the data. I welcome further collaboration with CHRS in the future.”

- Brian Bell / UCI

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