This study compares three TMI rainfall datasets generated by two versions of NASA’s Goddard Profiling algorithm (GPROF2010 and GPROF2017) and JAXA’s Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation algorithm (GSMaP) over land, coast, and ocean. We use TRMM precipitation radar observations as the reference, and also include CloudSat cloud profiling radar (CPR) observations as the reference over ocean. First, the dynamic thresholds for rainfall detection used by GSMaP and GPROF2017 have better detection capability, indicating by larger Heidke skill score (HSS) values, compared with GPROF2010 over both land and coast. Over ocean, all three datasets have very similar HSS regardless of including CPR observations. Next, intensity analysis shows that no single dataset performs the best according to all three statistical metrics (correlation, root-mean-square error, and relative bias), except that GSMaP performs the best for stratiform precipitation over coast, and GPROF2017 performs the best for convective precipitation over ocean, based on all three metrics. Finally, an error decomposition analysis shows that the total error and its three components have very different characteristics over several regions among these three datasets. For example, the positive total error in GPROF2010 and GSMaP is primarily caused by the positive hit bias over central Africa, while the false bias in GPROF2017 is largely responsible for this positive total error. For future algorithm development, results from this study imply that a convective–stratiform separation technique may be necessary to reduce the large underestimation for convective rain intensity.

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