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Clément Guilloteau
Rémy Roca
, and
Marielle Gosset


Validation studies have assessed the accuracy of satellite-based precipitation estimates at coarse scale (1° and 1 day or coarser) in the tropics, but little is known about their ability to capture the finescale variability of precipitation. Rain detection masks derived from four multisatellite passive sensor products [Tropical Amount of Precipitation with an Estimate of Errors (TAPEER), PERSIANN-CCS, CMORPH, and GSMaP] are evaluated against ground radar data in Burkina Faso. The multiscale evaluation is performed down to 2.8 km and 15 min through discrete wavelet transform. The comparison of wavelet coefficients allows identification of the scales for which the precipitation fraction (fraction of space and time that is rainy) derived from satellite observations is consistent with the reference. The wavelet-based spectral analysis indicates that the energy distribution associated with the rain/no rain variability throughout spatial and temporal scales in satellite products agrees well with radar-based precipitation fields. The wavelet coefficients characterizing very finescale variations (finer than 40 km and 2 h) of satellite and ground radar masks are poorly correlated. Coarse spatial and temporal scales are essentially responsible for the agreement between satellite and radar masks. Consequently, the spectral energy of the difference between the two masks is concentrated in fine scales. Satellite-derived multiyear mean diurnal cycles of rain occurrence are in good agreement with gauge data in Benin and Niger. Spectral analysis and diurnal cycle computation are also performed in the West Africa region using the TRMM Precipitation Radar. The results at the regional scale are consistent with the results obtained over the ground radar and gauge sites.

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