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Summer Precipitation Frequency, Intensity, and Diurnal Cycle over China: A Comparison of Satellite Data with Rain Gauge Observations

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  • 1 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and LaSW, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 3 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 4 National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado
  • | 5 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Hourly or 3-hourly precipitation data from Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 satellite products and rain gauge records are used to characterize East Asian summer monsoon rainfall, including spatial patterns in June–August (JJA) mean precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity, as well as the diurnal and semidiurnal cycles. The results show that the satellite products are comparable to rain gauge data in revealing the spatial patterns of JJA precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity, with pattern correlation coefficients for five subregions ranging from 0.66 to 0.94. The pattern correlation of rainfall amount is higher than that of frequency and intensity. Relative to PERSIANN, the TRMM product has a better resemblance with rain gauge observations in terms of both the pattern correlation and root-mean-square error. The satellite products overestimate rainfall frequency but underestimate its intensity. The diurnal (24 h) harmonic dominates subdaily variations of precipitation over most of eastern China. A late-afternoon maximum over southeastern and northeastern China and a near-midnight maximum over the eastern periphery of the Tibetan Plateau are seen in the rain gauge data. The diurnal phases of precipitation frequency and intensity are similar to those of rainfall amount in most regions, except for the middle Yangtze River valley. Both frequency and intensity contribute to the diurnal variation of rainfall amount over most of eastern China. The contribution of frequency to the diurnal cycle of rainfall amount is generally overestimated in both satellite products. Both satellite products capture well the nocturnal peak over the eastern periphery of the Tibetan Plateau and the late-afternoon peak in southern and northeastern China. Rain gauge data over the region between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers show two peaks, with one in the early morning and the other later in the afternoon. The satellite products only capture the major late-afternoon peak.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Tianjun Zhou, LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029 Beijing, China. Email: zhoutj@lasg.iap.ac.cn

This article included in the Understanding Diurnal Variability of Precipitation through Observations and Models (UDVPOM) special collection.

Abstract

Hourly or 3-hourly precipitation data from Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 satellite products and rain gauge records are used to characterize East Asian summer monsoon rainfall, including spatial patterns in June–August (JJA) mean precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity, as well as the diurnal and semidiurnal cycles. The results show that the satellite products are comparable to rain gauge data in revealing the spatial patterns of JJA precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity, with pattern correlation coefficients for five subregions ranging from 0.66 to 0.94. The pattern correlation of rainfall amount is higher than that of frequency and intensity. Relative to PERSIANN, the TRMM product has a better resemblance with rain gauge observations in terms of both the pattern correlation and root-mean-square error. The satellite products overestimate rainfall frequency but underestimate its intensity. The diurnal (24 h) harmonic dominates subdaily variations of precipitation over most of eastern China. A late-afternoon maximum over southeastern and northeastern China and a near-midnight maximum over the eastern periphery of the Tibetan Plateau are seen in the rain gauge data. The diurnal phases of precipitation frequency and intensity are similar to those of rainfall amount in most regions, except for the middle Yangtze River valley. Both frequency and intensity contribute to the diurnal variation of rainfall amount over most of eastern China. The contribution of frequency to the diurnal cycle of rainfall amount is generally overestimated in both satellite products. Both satellite products capture well the nocturnal peak over the eastern periphery of the Tibetan Plateau and the late-afternoon peak in southern and northeastern China. Rain gauge data over the region between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers show two peaks, with one in the early morning and the other later in the afternoon. The satellite products only capture the major late-afternoon peak.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Tianjun Zhou, LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029 Beijing, China. Email: zhoutj@lasg.iap.ac.cn

This article included in the Understanding Diurnal Variability of Precipitation through Observations and Models (UDVPOM) special collection.

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