Ground Validation for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)

David B. Wolff Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Science Systems & Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

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D. A. Marks Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

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E. Amitai Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

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D. S. Silberstein Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

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B. L. Fisher Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Science Systems & Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

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A. Tokay Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

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J. Wang Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Science Systems & Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

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J. L. Pippitt Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

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Abstract

An overview of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Ground Validation (GV) Program is presented. This ground validation (GV) program is based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and is responsible for processing several TRMM science products for validating space-based rain estimates from the TRMM satellite. These products include gauge rain rates, and radar-estimated rain intensities, type, and accumulations, from four primary validation sites (Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands; Melbourne, Florida; Houston, Texas; and Darwin, Australia). Site descriptions of rain gauge networks and operational weather radar configurations are presented together with the unique processing methodologies employed within the Ground Validation System (GVS) software packages. Rainfall intensity estimates are derived using the Window Probability Matching Method (WPMM) and then integrated over specified time scales. Error statistics from both dependent and independent validation techniques show good agreement between gauge-measured and radar-estimated rainfall. A comparison of the NASA GV products and those developed independently by the University of Washington for a subset of data from the Kwajalein Atoll site also shows good agreement. A comparison of NASA GV rain intensities to satellite retrievals from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), precipitation radar (PR), and Combined (COM) algorithms is presented, and it is shown that the GV and satellite estimates agree quite well over the open ocean.

Corresponding author address: David B. Wolff, NASA GSFC, Code 912.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: wolff@radar.gsfc.nasa.gov

Abstract

An overview of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Ground Validation (GV) Program is presented. This ground validation (GV) program is based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and is responsible for processing several TRMM science products for validating space-based rain estimates from the TRMM satellite. These products include gauge rain rates, and radar-estimated rain intensities, type, and accumulations, from four primary validation sites (Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands; Melbourne, Florida; Houston, Texas; and Darwin, Australia). Site descriptions of rain gauge networks and operational weather radar configurations are presented together with the unique processing methodologies employed within the Ground Validation System (GVS) software packages. Rainfall intensity estimates are derived using the Window Probability Matching Method (WPMM) and then integrated over specified time scales. Error statistics from both dependent and independent validation techniques show good agreement between gauge-measured and radar-estimated rainfall. A comparison of the NASA GV products and those developed independently by the University of Washington for a subset of data from the Kwajalein Atoll site also shows good agreement. A comparison of NASA GV rain intensities to satellite retrievals from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), precipitation radar (PR), and Combined (COM) algorithms is presented, and it is shown that the GV and satellite estimates agree quite well over the open ocean.

Corresponding author address: David B. Wolff, NASA GSFC, Code 912.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. Email: wolff@radar.gsfc.nasa.gov

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