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High resolution Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) dataset for Africa

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2020-01-07
Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Citable
Publication Date: 2019-08-05
DOI Publication Date: 2019-08-05
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 49 Files | 40GB


This dataset consists of high spatial resolution Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) drought dataset over the whole Africa at different time scales from 1 month to 48 months. It is calculated based on precipitation estimates from the satellite-based Climate Hazards group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) and potential evaporation estimates by the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM).

The SPEI dataset covers the whole of the African continent for a 36-year-long period (1981–2016) at a horizontal resolution of 5 km (0.05 deg) and a monthly time resolution. The dataset is provided in NetCDF format with in a Geographic Lat/Lon projection. Due to the lower reliability of SPEI over areas with low hydro-climatic variability, the areas with barren or sparsely vegetated areas in Africa were masked out based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface type product (MCD12Q1).

Citable as:  Peng, J.; Dadson, S.; Hirpa, F.; Dyer, E.; Lees, T.; Miralles, D.G.; Vicente-Serrano, S.M.; Funk, C. (2019): High resolution Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) dataset for Africa. Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, 05 August 2019. doi:10.5285/bbdfd09a04304158b366777eba0d2aeb.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: SPEI, Africa, UK Space Agency, drought


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
No related previous identifiers.
Access rules:
Access to these data is available to any registered CEDA user. Please Login or Register for an account to gain access.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

The dataset was produced based on UK Space Agency's International Partnership Programme (417000001429) and delivered for archiving at the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA).

Data Quality:
Data are as given by the data provider, no quality control has been performed by the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA)
File Format:
Data are netCDF formatted.

Citations: 1

The following citations have been automatically harvested from external sources associated with this resource where DOI tracking is possible. As such some citations may be missing from this list whilst others may not be accurate. Please contact the helpdesk to raise any issues to help refine these citation trackings.

Peng, J., Dadson, S., Hirpa, F., Dyer, E., Lees, T., Miralles, D. G., Vicente-Serrano, S. M., & Funk, C. (2020). A pan-African high-resolution drought index dataset. Earth System Science Data, 12(1), 753–769.

Process overview

This dataset was generated by the computation detailed below.

Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)


The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) is an extension of the widely used Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI).

Input Description


Output Description


Software Reference


  • long_name: Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index
  • units: z value
  • var_id: spei

Co-ordinate Variables

  • units: degrees_north
  • standard_name: latitude
  • var_id: lat
  • units: degrees_east
  • standard_name: longitude
  • var_id: lon
  • standard_name: time
  • var_id: time
Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent