Soil moisture is one of the essential climate variables with a potential impact on local climate variability. Despite the importance of soil moisture, studies on soil moisture characteristics in Ethiopia are less documented.
In this study, the spa- tiotemporal variability of Ethiopian soil moisture (SM) has been characterized, and its local and remote influential driving factors are investigated.
An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and KMeans clustering algorithm have been employed to classify the large domain into homogeneous zones. Complex maximum covariance analysis (CMCA) is applied to evaluate the covariability between SM and selected local and remote variables such as rainfall (RF), evapotranspiration (ET), and sea surface temperature (SST). Inter-comparison among SM datasets highlight that the FLDAS dataset better depicts the country’s SM spatial and temporal distribution (i.e., a correlation coefficient r = 0.95, rmsd = 0.04m3m−3 with observa- tions). Results also indicate that regions located in northeastern Ethiopia are drier irrespective of the season (JJAS, MAM, and OND) considered.
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