Precipitation variables for IPUMS DHS


I have a question on the contextual precipitation variables. Once you merge them into your IPUMS extract, what do they represent. Does the variable precipitation_01 represent the cumulative precipitation from 1981-2018 (where data is available) for the month before the survey date? How does this work if you are have a pooled IPUMS extract? Or can you only use precipitation data for a single country IPUMS extract
Thanks very much for your help!

As noted on the PRECIP description tab, the variable PRECIP_01 reports the average precipitation in millimeters received within a 10-kilometer circular buffer around each DHS cluster location for the month before the survey start date (see the INTSTARTCMC variable). The specific reference month varies by sample. For example, if the survey start date for a sample was July of 2020, PRECIP_01 corresponds to June 2020; for samples where data collection begins in October of 2010, PRECIP_01 corresponds to September 2010. The concept is comparable even in a pooled sample (i.e., PRECIP_01 is the average precipitation in millimeters in the month before the survey start date); however, the specific month that any given PRECIP_* variable references will not be the same unless you are looking at records in the same sample.