Understanding the variability of rainfall is important for sustaining rain-dependent agriculture and driving the local economy of Nigeria. Paucity and inadequate rain gauge network across Nigeria has made satellite-based rainfall products (SRPs), which offer a complete spatial and consistent temporal coverage, a better alternative. However, the accuracy of these products must be ascertained before use in water resource developments and planning. In this study, the performances of Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS), Precipitation estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks–Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), and Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite data and ground-based observations (TAMSAT), were evaluated to investigate their ability to reproduce long term (1983–2013) observed rainfall characteristics derived from twenty-four (24) gauges in Nigeria. Results show that all products performed well in terms of capturing the observed annual cycle and spatial trends in all selected stations. Statistical evaluation of the SRPs performance show that CHIRPS agree more with observations in all climatic zones by reproducing the local rainfall characteristics. The performance of PERSIANN and TAMSAT, however, varies with season and across the climatic zones. Findings from this study highlight the benefits of using SRPs to augment or fill gaps in the distribution of local rainfall data, which is critical for water resources planning, agricultural development, and policy making.
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