3A.1 VegOut-GHA: A Seasonal Vegetation Outlook for the Greater Horn of Africa (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 8 January 2018: 2:00 PM
Room 18A (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Tsegaye Tadesse, National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and Y. A. Bayissa, G. B. Demisse, and B. Wardlow

The vegetation outlook for the Greater Africa (VegOut-GHA) is a new experimental geospatial tool for predicting seasonal vegetation condition patterns across the region. VegOut-GHA predicts a standardized seasonal greenness (SSG) measure, which represents a general indicator of relative vegetation health. VegOut-GHA predicts SSG values at multiple time steps (10-day to 3-month time into the future) for the growing season (June-September) based on the analysis of “historical patterns” (i.e., patterns at each 1 km grid cell and dekadal period of the season) of satellite, climate, and oceanic data over a 15-year period (2001-2015). The model underlying VegOut-GHA capitalizes on historical climate–vegetation interactions and ocean–climate teleconnection (such as El Niño and the Southern Oscillation, ENSO) expressed over the 15-year data record and also considers several environmental characteristics (e.g., land use/cover type and soils) that influence vegetation’s response to weather conditions to produce 1 km maps that depict future general vegetation conditions in the growing season. VegOut-GHA provides regional level vegetation monitoring capabilities with local-scale information (e.g., a district in GHA countries) that can complement more traditional remote sensing–based approaches that monitor actual vegetation conditions. The VegOut-GHA approach will be discussed and a case study over Ethiopia for selected drought and non-drought years will be presented to demonstrate the potential of this new tool for assessing and predicting vegetation conditions in the Greater Horn of Africa.
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