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Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

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Dr. Elena Tarnavsky

Senior Research Fellow


  • Meteorology Department Senior Research Fellow
    Development of new and contribution to ongoing research and knowledge exchange activities with international project partners and industry collaborators
  • NERC National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) Impact Team
    Development of impact pathways and knowledge exchange links to facilitate the use of EO data and scince in government and business applications and decision-making processes
  • Walker Institute Associate

Research Interests:

  • Agro-Meteorological/Drought Risk Monitoring, Modelling, Management
  • Dynamic Hydrological and Crop Modelling with Earth Observation Data
  • Integration of Earth Observation Data into Process-Based Models
  • Methodologies for Comparison of Multi-Sensor and Multi-Scale Datasets
  • Stochastic Weather Generators, Spatial Statistics and Geostatistics
  • Decision-Support Tools and User-Tailored Applications as part of Knowledge Exchange

Research Projects:

  • Climate-KIC "Weather INdex-based wEather-driven Risk Services (WINERS), WP2 Lead Investigator, 05/2015 - 06/2017
  • NERC Satellite data for weather index insurance: scaling out (SatWIN-Scale), Researcher Co-Investigator, 10/2014 - 03/2016
  • MARSOP4 Framework Service Contract Supporting the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (MARSOP4), Senior Research Scientist, 07/2014 - 07/2018
  • NERC-TSB "A toolbox for incorporating satellite-based data into weather index based insurance (SatWin toolbox), Researcher Co-Investigator, 02/2014 - 04/2015
  • Walker Institute Research Development Fund (WIRDF), Award Holder, 12/2014 - 07/2015
  • NERC Environmental Data "User-oriented Agricultural Drought Decision-support Insurance Tool (uADDIT), Researcher Co-Investigator, 06/2013 - 09/2013
  • NERC Business Interaction Fund, Researcher Co-Investigator, 07/2013 - 08/2013
  • CCAFS (Climate Change and Food Security) programme "Rainfall Data Generation and Analysis for African Meteorology", Co-Investigator, 09/2011 - 04/2012
  • Madagascar "Calibration of Satellite Based Estimates of Rainfall" (grant awarded but not accepted due to the sudden death of the PI, Dr David Grimes, in Dec 2011)
  • Alterra consultancy project "Comparison of multi-satellite rainfall estimates over Ghana", 07/2011
  • NERC "Workshop on TAMSAT African Rainfall Climatology And Time Series (TARCAT) for East Africa", 12/2010
  • MARSOP3 Operational Activities for MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) FOOD SEC Action of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, with consortium partners from Alterra, MeteoGroup, VITO, and GSAT, 08/2009 - 03/2013

Contributions to Other Funded Projects:

  • 2014, CCAFS (Climate Change and Food Security) Flagship 2 "Delivering a Sustainable Integrated Approach to Climate Services at scale across West Africa"
  • 2014, USAID "Scaling up climate services for farmers in Africa and South Asia"
  • 2014, NERC PURE Fellowship held by Dr Ross Maidment on "Satellite-based rainfall estimates in Weather index-based insurance (SatWin)
  • 2013, Walker Institute Research Development Fund (WIRDF) awarded to TAMSAT

Student supervision:

  • Henna Helvina Neerunjun (2015): Extreme Precipitation Analysis in Mauritius using Ground Based Observations and Satellite Based Datasets, MSc Dissertation
  • Maria-Chara Karypidou (2014): Defining Zones of Homogeneous Precipitation over Africa for the Calibration of the TAMSAT Rainfall Algorithm, ERASMUS Placement
  • Edson Nkonde (2014): Skill of TAMSAT rainfall estimation for Zambia and Angola, MSc Dissertation
  • Tiro Nkemelang (2012): Daily and Dekadal Rainfall Estimation in Botswana, UG Dissertation
  • Fatou Sima (2011): Dekadal Rainfall Estimation in Gambia, MSc Dissertation
  • Jill Chamberlain (2010): Evaluation of TAMSAT Rainfall Estimates over Complex Terrain in Ethiopia, UG Dissertation

Other interests

  • Real Food and Virtual Water

Centaur Publications

Jump to: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2008 | 2004
Number of items: 21.


Mitheu, F., Petty, C., Tarnavsky, E. ORCID:, Stephens, E., Ciampi, L. ORCID:, Butsatsa, J. and Cornforth, R. (2022) Identifying the barriers and opportunities in the provision and use of weather and climate information for flood risk preparedness: the case of Katakwi District, Uganda. Frontiers in climate, 4. 908662. ISSN 2624-9553 doi:


Hinkel, J., Cornforth, R., Todman, L., Fairgreave, R., Plumpton, H., Shepherd, T., Tarnavsky, E. ORCID:, Petty, C. and Acidri, J. (2021) Policy, governance and institutions for reducing and managing losses and damages - decision making under uncertainty. In: Buckle, S., Lamhauge, N., Rocha, M., Stadler, B. and Chhun, B. (eds.) Managing climate risks, facing up to losses and damages. OECD Publishing, Paris, pp. 185-238. ISBN 9789264344396 doi:


Xiong, W. and Tarnavsky, E. ORCID: (2020) Better agronomic management increases climate resilience of maize to drought in Tanzania. Atmoshpere, 11 (9). 982. ISSN 2073-4433 doi:

Tarnavsky, E. and Bonifacio, R. (2020) Drought risk management using satellite-based rainfall estimates. In: Levizzani, V., Kidd, C., Kirschbaum, D. B., Kummerow, C. D., Nakamura, K. and Turk, F. J. (eds.) Satellite Precipitation Measurement. Advances in Global Chance Research, 2 (69). Springer, pp. 1029-1053. ISBN 9783030357979 doi:

Kidd, C., Shige, S., Vila, D., Tarnavsky, E., Yamamoto, M. K., Maggioni, V. and Maseko, B. (2020) The IPWG satellite precipitation validation effort. In: Levizzani, V., Kidd, C., Kirschbaum, D. B., Kummerow, C. D., Nakamura, K. and Turk, F. J. (eds.) Satellite Precipitation Measurement. Advances in Global Change Research, 2 (69). Springer, pp. 453-470. ISBN 9783030357979 doi:


Tarnavsky, E., Chavez, E. and Boogaard, H. (2018) Agro-meteorological risks to maize production in Tanzania: sensitivity of an adapted water requirements satisfaction index (WRSI) model to rainfall. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 73. pp. 77-87. ISSN 0303-2434 doi:

Saeidizand, R., Sabetghadam, S., Tarnavsky, E. and Pierleoni, A. (2018) Evaluation of CHIRPS rainfall estimates over Iran. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 144 (S1). pp. 282-291. ISSN 1477-870X doi:


Maidment, R. I., Grimes, D., Black, E., Tarnavsky, E., Young, M., Greatrex, H., Allan, R. P., Stein, T., Nkonde, E., Senkunda, S. and Alcántara, E. M. U. (2017) A new, long-term daily satellite-based rainfall dataset for operational monitoring in Africa. Scientific Data, 4. 170063. ISSN 2052-4463 doi:


Black, E., Tarnavsky, E., Maidment, R., Greatrex, H., Mookerjee, A., Quaife, T. and Brown, M. (2016) The use of remotely sensed rainfall for managing drought risk: a case study of weather index insurance in Zambia. Remote Sensing, 8 (4). 342. ISSN 2072-4292 doi:


Black, E., Tarnavsky, E., Greatrex, H., Maidment, R., Mookerjee, A., Quaife, T. and Price, J. (2015) Exploiting satellite-based rainfall for weather index insurance: the challenges of spatial and temporal aggregation. In: First International electronic conference on Remote Sensing, 22 Jun - 5 Jul 2015. doi: (Vol 1: f002)

Toté, C., Patricio, D., Boogaard, H., van der Wijngaart, R., Tarnavsky, E. and Funk, C. (2015) Evaluation of satellite rainfall estimates for drought and flood monitoring in Mozambique. Remote Sensing, 7. pp. 1758-1776. ISSN 2072-4292 doi:


Tarnavsky, E., Grimes, D., Maidment, R., Black, E., Allan, R., Stringer, M., Chadwick, R. and Kayitakire, F. (2014) Extension of the TAMSAT satellite-based rainfall monitoring over Africa and from 1983 to present. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53 (12). pp. 2805-2822. ISSN 1558-8424 doi:

Dinku, T., Hailemariam, K., Maidment, R., Tarnavsky, E. and Connor, S. (2014) Combined use of satellite estimates and rain gauge observations to generate high-quality historical rainfall time series over Ethiopia. International Journal of Climatology, 34 (7). pp. 2489-2504. ISSN 1097-0088 doi:

Maidment, R. I., Grimes, D., Allan, R. P., Tarnavsky, E., Stringer, M., Hewison, T., Roebeling, R. and Black, E. (2014) The 30-year TAMSAT African rainfall climatology and time-series (TARCAT) dataset. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119 (18). pp. 10619-10644. ISSN 2169-8996 doi:

Zulkafli, Z., Buytaert, W., Onof, C., Manz, B., Tarnavsky, E., Lavado, W. and Guyot, J.-L. (2014) A comparative performance analysis of TRMM 3B42 (TMPA) versions 6 and 7 for hydrological applications over Andean-Amazon river basins. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15 (2). pp. 581-592. ISSN 1525-7541 doi:


Tarnavsky, E., Mulligan, M., Ouessar, M., Faye, A. and Black, E. (2013) Dynamic hydrological modeling in drylands with TRMM based rainfall. Remote Sensing, 5 (12). pp. 6691-6716. ISSN 2072-4292 doi:


Tarnavsky, E., Mulligan, M. and Husak, G. (2012) Spatial disaggregation and intensity correction of TRMM-based rainfall time series for hydrological applications in dryland catchments. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 57 (2). pp. 248-264. ISSN 0262-6667 doi:


Tarnavsky, E. (2010) DryMOD: a new model of hydrological degradation driven by disaggregated TRMM-based rainfall time series. In: Sawaya-Lacoste, H. (ed.) Proceedings of Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science : 18-20 November 2009, Frascati, Italy. ESA SP 674. Noordwijk. ISBN 9789292212384


Tarnavsky, E., Garrigues, S. and Brown, M. (2008) Multiscale geostatistical analysis of AVHRR, SPOT-VGT, and MODIS global NDVI products. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112 (2). pp. 535-549. ISSN 0034-4257 doi:


Stow, D., Kaiser, J., Niphadkhar, M. and Tarnavsky, E. (2004) Monitoring changes in fuel moisture conditions of southern California chaparral based on time series of MODIS-derived indices. In: American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 23-28 May 2004, Denver, Colorado.

Tarnavsky, E., Stow, D., Coulter, L. and Hope, A. (2004) Spatial and radiometric fidelity of airborne multispectral imagery in the context of land-cover change analyses. GIScience and Remote Sensing, 41 (41). pp. 62-80. ISSN 1548-1603 doi:

This list was generated on Sat Dec 3 06:49:54 2022 UTC.

Last update: 25th June 2020



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