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Validation of TRMM and Other Rainfall Estimates with a High-Density Gauge Dataset for West Africa. Part II: Validation of TRMM Rainfall Products

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  • a Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallabassee, Florida
  • | b Centre Régional AGRHYMET, Niamey, Niger, and Service Météorologique Nationale, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • | c NOAA/NESDIS/ORA, Camp Springs, Maryland
  • | d NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | e SODEXAM/Direction Météorologie Nationale, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • | f Direction Nationale de la Météorologie, Conakry, Guinea
  • | g Department of Water Resources, Banjul, Gambia
  • | h Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Lomé, Togo
  • | i Direction Nationale de la Météorologie, Dakar, Senegal
  • | j Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Cotonou, Benin
  • | k Meteorological Services Department, Legon-Accra, Gbana
  • | l Arizona Remote Sensing Center, Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • | m Direction Nationale de la Météorologie, Bamako, Mali
  • | n Service Climatologique, Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Niamey, Niger
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Abstract

Gauge data from a West African network of 920 stations are used to assess Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and blended rainfall products for 1998. In this study, mean fields, scattergrams, and latitudinal transects for the months of May–September and for the 5-month season are presented. Error statistics are also calculated. This study demonstrates that both the TRMM-adjusted Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite precipitation index (AGPI) and TRMM-merged rainfall products show excellent agreement with gauge data over West Africa on monthly-to-seasonal timescales and 2.5° × 2.5° latitude/longitude space scales. The root-mean-square error of both is on the order of 0.6 mm day−1 at seasonal resolution and 1 mm day−1 at monthly resolution. The bias of the AGPI is only 0.2 mm day−1, whereas the TRMM-merged product shows no bias over West Africa. Performance at 1.0° × 1.0° latitude/longitude resolution is also excellent at the seasonal scale and good for the monthly scale. A comparison with standard rainfall products that predate TRMM shows that AGPI and the TRMM-merged product perform as well as, or better than, those products. The AGPI shows marked improvement when compared with the GPI, in reducing the bias and in the scatter of the estimates. The TRMM satellite-only products from the precipitation radar and the TRMM Microwave Imager do not perform well over West Africa. Both tend to overestimate gauge measurements.

Deceased

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sharon Nicholson, Dept. of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306. sen@met.fsu.edu

Abstract

Gauge data from a West African network of 920 stations are used to assess Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and blended rainfall products for 1998. In this study, mean fields, scattergrams, and latitudinal transects for the months of May–September and for the 5-month season are presented. Error statistics are also calculated. This study demonstrates that both the TRMM-adjusted Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite precipitation index (AGPI) and TRMM-merged rainfall products show excellent agreement with gauge data over West Africa on monthly-to-seasonal timescales and 2.5° × 2.5° latitude/longitude space scales. The root-mean-square error of both is on the order of 0.6 mm day−1 at seasonal resolution and 1 mm day−1 at monthly resolution. The bias of the AGPI is only 0.2 mm day−1, whereas the TRMM-merged product shows no bias over West Africa. Performance at 1.0° × 1.0° latitude/longitude resolution is also excellent at the seasonal scale and good for the monthly scale. A comparison with standard rainfall products that predate TRMM shows that AGPI and the TRMM-merged product perform as well as, or better than, those products. The AGPI shows marked improvement when compared with the GPI, in reducing the bias and in the scatter of the estimates. The TRMM satellite-only products from the precipitation radar and the TRMM Microwave Imager do not perform well over West Africa. Both tend to overestimate gauge measurements.

Deceased

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sharon Nicholson, Dept. of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306. sen@met.fsu.edu

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