Estimation of diurnal air temperature using MSG SEVIRI data in West Africa

Simon Stisen, Inge Sandholt, Anette Nørgaard, Rasmus Fensholt, Lars Eklundh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Spatially distributed air temperature data with high temporal resolution are desired for several modeling applications. By exploiting the thermal split window channels in combination with the red and near infrared channels of the geostationary MSG SEVIRI sensor, multiple daily air temperature estimates can be achieved using the contextual temperature-vegetation index method. Air temperature was estimated for 436 image acquisitions during the 2005 rainy season over West Africa and evaluated against in situ data from a field test site in Dahra, Northern Senegal. The methodology was adjusted using data from the test site resulting in RMSE=2.55 K, MBE=-0.30 K and R-2=0.63 for the estimated versus observed air temperatures. A spatial validation of the method using 12 synoptic weather stations from Senegal and Mali within the Senegal River basin resulted in overall values of RMSE=2.96 K, MBE=-1.11 K and R-2=0.68. The daytime temperature curve is interpolated using a sine function based on the multiple daily air temperature estimates from the SEVIRI data. These estimates (covering the 8:00-20:00 UCT time window) were in good agreement with observed values with RMSE=2.99 K, MBE=-0.70 K and R-2=0.64. The temperature-vegetation index method was applied as a moving window technique to produce distributed maps of air temperature with 15 min intervals and 3 km spatial resolution for application in a distributed hydrological model. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)262-274
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Air temperature
  • Surface temperature
  • NDVI
  • TVX


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