Validation of Satellite-Based High-Resolution Rainfall Products over the Korean Peninsula Using Data from a Dense Rain Gauge Network

B. J. Sohn School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

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Hyo-Jin Han School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

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Eun-Kyoung Seo Department of Earth Science Education, Kongju National University, Kongju, Chungnam, South Korea

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Abstract

Four independently developed high-resolution precipitation products [HRPPs; the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), the Climate Prediction Center Morphing Method (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN), and the National Research Laboratory (NRL) blended precipitation dataset (NRL-blended)], with a spatial resolution of 0.25° and a temporal resolution of 3 h, were compared with surface rain measurements for the four summer seasons (June, July, and August) from 2003 to 2006. Surface measurements are 1-min rain gauge data from the Automated Weather Station (AWS) network operated by the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) over South Korea, which consists of about 520 sites. The summer mean rainfall and diurnal cycles of TMPA are comparable to those of the AWS, but with larger magnitudes. The closer agreement of TMPA with surface observations is due to the adjustment of the real-time version of TMPA products to monthly gauge measurements. However, the adjustment seems to result in significant overestimates for light or moderate rain events and thus increased RMS error. In the other three products (CMORPH, PERSIANN, and NRL-blended), significant underestimates are evident in the summer mean distribution and in scatterplots for the grid-by-grid comparison. The magnitudes of the diurnal cycles of the three products appear to be much smaller than those suggested by AWS, although CMORPH shows nearly the same diurnal phase as in AWS. Such underestimates by three methods are likely due to the deficiency of the passive microwave (PMW)-based rainfall retrievals over the South Korean region. More accurate PMW measurements (in particular by the improved land algorithm) seem to be a prerequisite for better estimates of the rain rate by HRPP algorithms. This paper further demonstrates the capability of the Korean AWS network data for validating satellite-based rain products.

Corresponding author address: B. J. Sohn, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, NS 80, Seoul, 151-747, South Korea. Email: sohn@snu.ac.kr

This article included in the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) special collection.

Abstract

Four independently developed high-resolution precipitation products [HRPPs; the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), the Climate Prediction Center Morphing Method (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN), and the National Research Laboratory (NRL) blended precipitation dataset (NRL-blended)], with a spatial resolution of 0.25° and a temporal resolution of 3 h, were compared with surface rain measurements for the four summer seasons (June, July, and August) from 2003 to 2006. Surface measurements are 1-min rain gauge data from the Automated Weather Station (AWS) network operated by the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) over South Korea, which consists of about 520 sites. The summer mean rainfall and diurnal cycles of TMPA are comparable to those of the AWS, but with larger magnitudes. The closer agreement of TMPA with surface observations is due to the adjustment of the real-time version of TMPA products to monthly gauge measurements. However, the adjustment seems to result in significant overestimates for light or moderate rain events and thus increased RMS error. In the other three products (CMORPH, PERSIANN, and NRL-blended), significant underestimates are evident in the summer mean distribution and in scatterplots for the grid-by-grid comparison. The magnitudes of the diurnal cycles of the three products appear to be much smaller than those suggested by AWS, although CMORPH shows nearly the same diurnal phase as in AWS. Such underestimates by three methods are likely due to the deficiency of the passive microwave (PMW)-based rainfall retrievals over the South Korean region. More accurate PMW measurements (in particular by the improved land algorithm) seem to be a prerequisite for better estimates of the rain rate by HRPP algorithms. This paper further demonstrates the capability of the Korean AWS network data for validating satellite-based rain products.

Corresponding author address: B. J. Sohn, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, NS 80, Seoul, 151-747, South Korea. Email: sohn@snu.ac.kr

This article included in the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) special collection.

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