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  • Author or Editor: F. K. Li x
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Zhijun Huang
,
Huan Wu
,
Guojun Gu
,
Xiaomeng Li
,
Nergui Nanding
,
Robert F. Adler
,
Koray K. Yilmaz
,
Lorenzo Alfieri
, and
Sirong Chen

Abstract

Precipitation data are known to be the key driver of hydrological simulations. Hence, reliable quantitative precipitation estimates and forecasts are vital for accurate hydrological forecasting. Satellite-based precipitation estimates from Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM Early Run (IMERG-E) and forecasted precipitation from NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing (GEOS-FP) have shown values in global flood nowcasting and forecasting. However, few studies have comprehensively evaluated their hydrological performance let alone explored the potential value of combining them. Therefore, this study undertakes a quasi-global evaluation of their utility in real-time hydrological monitoring and 1–5-day forecasting with the Dominant River Tracing-Routing Integrated with Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) Environment (DRIVE) model. The gauge-corrected IMERG Final Run precipitation estimates and corresponding hydrological simulation are used as the references. Results showed that the hit bias is the dominant error source of IMERG-E, while the false precipitation is more noticeable in GEOS-FP. In terms of hydrological performance, the GEOS-FP-driven model (DRIVE-FP) performance is close to the IMERG-E-driven model (DRIVE-E) performance on day 1, indicating that GEOS-FP could nicely fill the gap of nowcasting caused by the IMERG-E time latency. For longer lead-time forecasts, the bias tends to diminish in most regions, likely because the under- or overestimation in IMERG-E is generally offset by the distinct types of misestimation in GEOS-FP. The skillful initial hydrological conditions present outperformed forecasts in most regions, except for tropical areas where the accuracy of GEOS-FP prevails. Overall, this study provides a valuable view of the combined use of IMERG-E and GEOS-FP precipitation in the context of hydrological nowcasts and forecasts.

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Michael F. Jasinski
,
Jordan S. Borak
,
Sujay V. Kumar
,
David M. Mocko
,
Christa D. Peters-Lidard
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Hualan Rui
,
Hiroko K. Beaudoing
,
Bruce E. Vollmer
,
Kristi R. Arsenault
,
Bailing Li
,
John D. Bolten
, and
Natthachet Tangdamrongsub

Abstract

Terrestrial hydrologic trends over the conterminous United States are estimated for 1980–2015 using the National Climate Assessment Land Data Assimilation System (NCA-LDAS) reanalysis. NCA-LDAS employs the uncoupled Noah version 3.3 land surface model at 0.125° × 0.125° forced with NLDAS-2 meteorology, rescaled Climate Prediction Center precipitation, and assimilated satellite-based soil moisture, snow depth, and irrigation products. Mean annual trends are reported using the nonparametric Mann–Kendall test at p < 0.1 significance. Results illustrate the interrelationship between regional gradients in forcing trends and trends in other land energy and water stores and fluxes. Mean precipitation trends range from +3 to +9 mm yr−1 in the upper Great Plains and Northeast to −1 to −9 mm yr−1 in the West and South, net radiation flux trends range from +0.05 to +0.20 W m−2 yr−1 in the East to −0.05 to −0.20 W m−2 yr−1 in the West, and U.S.-wide temperature trends average about +0.03 K yr−1. Trends in soil moisture, snow cover, latent and sensible heat fluxes, and runoff are consistent with forcings, contributing to increasing evaporative fraction trends from west to east. Evaluation of NCA-LDAS trends compared to independent data indicates mixed results. The RMSE of U.S.-wide trends in number of snow cover days improved from 3.13 to 2.89 days yr−1 while trend detection increased 11%. Trends in latent heat flux were hardly affected, with RMSE decreasing only from 0.17 to 0.16 W m−2 yr−1, while trend detection increased 2%. NCA-LDAS runoff trends degraded significantly from 2.6 to 16.1 mm yr−1 while trend detection was unaffected. Analysis also indicated that NCA-LDAS exhibits relatively more skill in low precipitation station density areas, suggesting there are limits to the effectiveness of satellite data assimilation in densely gauged regions. Overall, NCA-LDAS demonstrates capability for quantifying physically consistent, U.S. hydrologic climate trends over the satellite era.

Open access