Validation and Intercomparison of Satellite Rainfall Estimates over Colombia

Tufa Dinku International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York

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Franklyn Ruiz Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environmental Studies, Bogotá, Colombia

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Stephen J. Connor International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York

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Pietro Ceccato International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York

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Abstract

Seven different satellite rainfall estimates are evaluated at daily and 10-daily time scales and a spatial resolution of 0.25° latitude/longitude. The reference data come from a relatively dense station network of about 600 rain gauges over Colombia. This region of South America has a very complex terrain with mountain ranges that form the northern tip of the Andes Mountains, valleys between the mountain ranges, and a vast plain that is part of the Amazon. The climate is very diverse with an extremely wet Pacific coast, a dry region in the north, and different rainfall regimes between the two extremes. The evaluated satellite rainfall products are the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 and 3B42RT products, the NOAA/Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Network (PERSIANN), the Naval Research Laboratory’s blended product (NRLB), and two versions of the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation moving vector with Kalman filter (GSMaP_MVK and GSMaP_MVK+). The validation and intercomparison of these products is done for the whole as well as different parts of the country. Validation results are reasonably good for daily rainfall over such complex terrain. The best results were obtained for the eastern plain, and the performance of the products was relatively poor over the Pacific coast. In comparing the different satellite products, it was seen that PERSIANN and GSMaP-MVK exhibited poor performance, with significant overestimation by PERSSIAN and serious underestimation by GSMaP-MVK. CMORPH and GSMaP-MVK+ exhibited the best performance among the products evaluated here.

Corresponding author address: Tufa Dinku, 61 Route 9W, Monell Bldg., Palisades, NY 10964. Email: tufa@iri.columbia.edu

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

Abstract

Seven different satellite rainfall estimates are evaluated at daily and 10-daily time scales and a spatial resolution of 0.25° latitude/longitude. The reference data come from a relatively dense station network of about 600 rain gauges over Colombia. This region of South America has a very complex terrain with mountain ranges that form the northern tip of the Andes Mountains, valleys between the mountain ranges, and a vast plain that is part of the Amazon. The climate is very diverse with an extremely wet Pacific coast, a dry region in the north, and different rainfall regimes between the two extremes. The evaluated satellite rainfall products are the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 and 3B42RT products, the NOAA/Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Network (PERSIANN), the Naval Research Laboratory’s blended product (NRLB), and two versions of the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation moving vector with Kalman filter (GSMaP_MVK and GSMaP_MVK+). The validation and intercomparison of these products is done for the whole as well as different parts of the country. Validation results are reasonably good for daily rainfall over such complex terrain. The best results were obtained for the eastern plain, and the performance of the products was relatively poor over the Pacific coast. In comparing the different satellite products, it was seen that PERSIANN and GSMaP-MVK exhibited poor performance, with significant overestimation by PERSSIAN and serious underestimation by GSMaP-MVK. CMORPH and GSMaP-MVK+ exhibited the best performance among the products evaluated here.

Corresponding author address: Tufa Dinku, 61 Route 9W, Monell Bldg., Palisades, NY 10964. Email: tufa@iri.columbia.edu

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

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