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Investigation of PR and TMI Version 6 and Version 7 Rainfall Algorithms in Landfalling Tropical Cyclones Relative to the NEXRAD Stage-IV Multisensor Precipitation Estimate Dataset

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  • 1 Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

Rainfall estimates from versions 6 (V6) and 7 (V7) of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) 2A25 and Microwave Imager (TMI) 2A12 algorithms are compared relative to the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) Multisensor Precipitation Estimate stage-IV hourly rainfall product. The dataset consists of 252 TRMM overpasses of tropical cyclones from 2002 to 2010 within a 230-km range of southeastern U.S. Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) sites. All rainfall estimates are averaged to a uniform 1/7° square grid. The grid boxes are also divided by their TMI surface designation (land, ocean, or coast). A detailed statistical analysis is undertaken to determine how changes to the TRMM rainfall algorithms in the latest version (V7) are influencing the rainfall retrievals relative to ground reference data. Version 7 of the PR 2A25 is the best-performing algorithm over all three surface types. Over ocean, TMI 2A12 V7 is improved relative to V6 at high rain rates. At low rain rates, the new ocean TMI V7 probability-of-rain parameter creates ambiguity in differentiating light rain (≤0.5 mm h−1) and nonraining areas. Over land, TMI V7 underestimates stage IV more than V6 does at a wide range of rain rates, resulting in an increased negative bias. Both versions of the TMI coastal algorithm are also negatively biased at both moderate and heavy rain rates. Some of the TMI biases can be explained by uncertain relationships between rain rate and 85-GHz ice scattering.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Haiyan Jiang, Dept. of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., PC-342B, Miami, FL 33199. E-mail: haiyan.jiang@fiu.edu

Abstract

Rainfall estimates from versions 6 (V6) and 7 (V7) of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) 2A25 and Microwave Imager (TMI) 2A12 algorithms are compared relative to the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) Multisensor Precipitation Estimate stage-IV hourly rainfall product. The dataset consists of 252 TRMM overpasses of tropical cyclones from 2002 to 2010 within a 230-km range of southeastern U.S. Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) sites. All rainfall estimates are averaged to a uniform 1/7° square grid. The grid boxes are also divided by their TMI surface designation (land, ocean, or coast). A detailed statistical analysis is undertaken to determine how changes to the TRMM rainfall algorithms in the latest version (V7) are influencing the rainfall retrievals relative to ground reference data. Version 7 of the PR 2A25 is the best-performing algorithm over all three surface types. Over ocean, TMI 2A12 V7 is improved relative to V6 at high rain rates. At low rain rates, the new ocean TMI V7 probability-of-rain parameter creates ambiguity in differentiating light rain (≤0.5 mm h−1) and nonraining areas. Over land, TMI V7 underestimates stage IV more than V6 does at a wide range of rain rates, resulting in an increased negative bias. Both versions of the TMI coastal algorithm are also negatively biased at both moderate and heavy rain rates. Some of the TMI biases can be explained by uncertain relationships between rain rate and 85-GHz ice scattering.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Haiyan Jiang, Dept. of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., PC-342B, Miami, FL 33199. E-mail: haiyan.jiang@fiu.edu
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