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Regional Differences in Overland Rainfall Estimation from PR-Calibrated TMI Algorithm

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  • 1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
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Abstract

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite carries a combination of active [precipitation radar (PR)] and multichannel passive microwave [the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI)] sensors, which advance our ability to estimate rainfall over land. Rain retrieval from the TRMM PR is associated with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution but is limited in terms of sampling because of the narrow PR swath width (215 km). TMI provides wider coverage (760 km), but its observations are associated with a more complex relationship to precipitation in comparison with PR (especially over land). The PR rain estimates are used here for calibrating an overland TMI rain algorithm. The algorithm consists of 1) multichannel-based rain screening and convective/stratiform (C/S) classification schemes, and 2) nonlinear (linear) regressions for the rain-rate retrieval of stratiform (convective) rain regimes. This study examines regional differences in the algorithm performance. Four geographic regions consisting of central Africa (AFC), the Amazon (AMZ), the U.S. southern Plains (USA), and the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna River basin (GBM) in south Asia are selected. Data from three summer months of 2000 and 2001 are used for calibration; validation is done using summer 2002 data. The current algorithm is also compared with the latest [version 6 (V6)] TRMM 2A12 product in terms of rain detection, and rain-rate retrieval error statistics on the basis of PR reference rainfall. The performance of the algorithm is different for the different regions. For instance, the reduction in random error (relative to 2A12 V6) is about 24%, 36%, 57%, and 165% for USA, AFC, AMZ, and GBM, respectively. However, significant difference between global (the four regions combined) and regional calibration is observed only for the GBM region.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Emmanouil N. Anagnostou, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, U-37, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269. manos@engr.uconn.edu

Abstract

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite carries a combination of active [precipitation radar (PR)] and multichannel passive microwave [the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI)] sensors, which advance our ability to estimate rainfall over land. Rain retrieval from the TRMM PR is associated with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution but is limited in terms of sampling because of the narrow PR swath width (215 km). TMI provides wider coverage (760 km), but its observations are associated with a more complex relationship to precipitation in comparison with PR (especially over land). The PR rain estimates are used here for calibrating an overland TMI rain algorithm. The algorithm consists of 1) multichannel-based rain screening and convective/stratiform (C/S) classification schemes, and 2) nonlinear (linear) regressions for the rain-rate retrieval of stratiform (convective) rain regimes. This study examines regional differences in the algorithm performance. Four geographic regions consisting of central Africa (AFC), the Amazon (AMZ), the U.S. southern Plains (USA), and the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna River basin (GBM) in south Asia are selected. Data from three summer months of 2000 and 2001 are used for calibration; validation is done using summer 2002 data. The current algorithm is also compared with the latest [version 6 (V6)] TRMM 2A12 product in terms of rain detection, and rain-rate retrieval error statistics on the basis of PR reference rainfall. The performance of the algorithm is different for the different regions. For instance, the reduction in random error (relative to 2A12 V6) is about 24%, 36%, 57%, and 165% for USA, AFC, AMZ, and GBM, respectively. However, significant difference between global (the four regions combined) and regional calibration is observed only for the GBM region.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Emmanouil N. Anagnostou, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, U-37, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269. manos@engr.uconn.edu

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