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Soroosh Sorooshian, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Xiaogang Gao, Hoshin V. Gupta, Bisher Imam, and Dan Braithwaite

PERSIANN, an automated system for Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks, has been developed for the estimation of rainfall from geosynchronous satellite longwave infared imagery (GOES-IR) at a resolution of 0.25° × 0.25° every half-hour. The accuracy of the rainfall product is improved by adaptively adjusting the network parameters using the instantaneous rain-rate estimates from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) microwave imager (TMI product 2A12), and the random errors are further reduced by accumulation to a resolution of 1° × 1° daily. The authors' current GOES-IR-TRMM TMI based product, named PERSIANN-GT, was evaluated over the region 30°S–30°N, 90°E–30°W, which includes the tropical Pacific Ocean and parts of Asia, Australia, and the Americas. The resulting rain-rate estimates agree well with the National Climatic Data Center radar-gauge composite data over Florida and Texas (correlation coefficient p > 0.7). The product also compares well (p ~ 0.77–0.90) with the monthly World Meteorological Organization gauge measurements for 5° × 5° grid locations having high gauge densities. The PERSIANN-GT product was evaluated further by comparing it with current TRMM products (3A11, 3B31, 3B42, 3B43) over the entire study region. The estimates compare well with the TRMM 3B43 1° × 5 1° monthly product, but the PERSIANN-GT products indicate higher rainfall over the western Pacific Ocean when compared to the adjusted geosynchronous precipitation index–based TRMM 3B42 product.

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Koray K. Yilmaz, Terri S. Hogue, Kuo-lin Hsu, Soroosh Sorooshian, Hoshin V. Gupta, and Thorsten Wagener

Abstract

This study compares mean areal precipitation (MAP) estimates derived from three sources: an operational rain gauge network (MAPG), a radar/gauge multisensor product (MAPX), and the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) satellite-based system (MAPS) for the time period from March 2000 to November 2003. The study area includes seven operational basins of varying size and location in the southeastern United States. The analysis indicates that agreements between the datasets vary considerably from basin to basin and also temporally within the basins. The analysis also includes evaluation of MAPS in comparison with MAPG for use in flow forecasting with a lumped hydrologic model [Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model (SAC-SMA)]. The latter evaluation investigates two different parameter sets, the first obtained using manual calibration on historical MAPG, and the second obtained using automatic calibration on both MAPS and MAPG, but over a shorter time period (23 months). Results indicate that the overall performance of the model simulations using MAPS depends on both the bias in the precipitation estimates and the size of the basins, with poorer performance in basins of smaller size (large bias between MAPG and MAPS) and better performance in larger basins (less bias between MAPG and MAPS). When using MAPS, calibration of the parameters significantly improved the model performance.

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Hamed Ashouri, Phu Nguyen, Andrea Thorstensen, Kuo-lin Hsu, Soroosh Sorooshian, and Dan Braithwaite

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the performance of Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks–Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR) in a rainfall–runoff modeling application over the past three decades. PERSIANN-CDR provides precipitation data at daily and 0.25° temporal and spatial resolutions from 1983 to present for the 60°S–60°N latitude band and 0°–360° longitude. The study is conducted in two phases over three test basins from the Distributed Hydrologic Model Intercomparison Project, phase 2 (DMIP2). In phase 1, a more recent period of time (2003–10) when other high-resolution satellite-based precipitation products are available is chosen. Precipitation evaluation analysis, conducted against stage IV gauge-adjusted radar data, shows that PERSIANN-CDR and TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) have close performances with a higher correlation coefficient for TMPA (~0.8 vs 0.75 for PERSIANN-CDR) and almost the same root-mean-square deviation (~6) for both products. TMPA and PERSIANN-CDR outperform PERSIANN, mainly because, unlike PERSIANN, TMPA and PERSIANN-CDR are gauge-adjusted precipitation products. The National Weather Service Office of Hydrologic Development Hydrology Laboratory Research Distributed Hydrologic Model (HL-RDHM) is then forced with PERSIANN, PERSIANN-CDR, TMPA, and stage IV data. Quantitative analysis using five different statistical and model efficiency measures against USGS streamflow observation show that in general in all three DMIP2 basins, the simulated hydrographs forced with PERSIANN-CDR and TMPA have close agreement. Given the promising results in the first phase, the simulation process is extended back to 1983 where only PERSIANN-CDR rainfall estimates are available. The results show that PERSIANN-CDR-derived streamflow simulations are comparable to USGS observations with correlation coefficients of ~0.67–0.73, relatively low biases (~5%–12%), and high index of agreement criterion (~0.68–0.83) between PERSIANN-CDR-simulated daily streamflow and USGS daily observations. The results prove the capability of PERSIANN-CDR in hydrological rainfall–runoff modeling application, especially for long-term streamflow simulations over the past three decades.

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Chiyuan Miao, Hamed Ashouri, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Soroosh Sorooshian, and Qingyun Duan

Abstract

This study evaluates the performance of a newly developed daily precipitation climate data record, called Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks–Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), in capturing the behavior of daily extreme precipitation events in China during the period of 1983–2006. Different extreme precipitation indices, in the three categories of percentile, absolute threshold, and maximum indices, are studied and compared with the same indices from the East Asia (EA) ground-based gridded daily precipitation dataset. The results show that PERSIANN-CDR depicts similar precipitation behavior as the ground-based EA product in terms of capturing the spatial and temporal patterns of daily precipitation extremes, particularly in the eastern China monsoon region, where the intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events are very high. However, the agreement between the datasets in dry regions such as the Tibetan Plateau in the west and the Taklamakan Desert in the northwest is not strong. An important factor that may have influenced the results is that the ground-based stations from which EA gridded data were produced are very sparse. In the station-rich regions in eastern China, the performance of PERSIANN-CDR is significant. PERSIANN-CDR slightly underestimates the values of extreme heavy precipitation.

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Farid Ishak Boushaki, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Soroosh Sorooshian, Gi-Hyeon Park, Shayesteh Mahani, and Wei Shi

Abstract

Reliable precipitation measurement is a crucial component in hydrologic studies. Although satellite-based observation is able to provide spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation, the measurements tend to show systematic bias. This paper introduces a grid-based precipitation merging procedure in which satellite estimates from the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks–Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN–CCS) are adjusted based on the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) daily rain gauge analysis. To remove the bias, the hourly CCS estimates were spatially and temporally accumulated to the daily 1° × 1° scale, the resolution of CPC rain gauge analysis. The daily CCS bias was then downscaled to the hourly temporal scale to correct hourly CCS estimates. The bias corrected CCS estimates are called the adjusted CCS (CCSA) product. With the adjustment from the gauge measurement, CCSA data have been generated to provide more reliable high temporal/spatial-resolution precipitation estimates. In the case study, the CCSA precipitation estimates from the proposed approach are compared against ground-based measurements in high-density gauge networks located in the southwestern United States.

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Ali Behrangi, Kuo-lin Hsu, Bisher Imam, Soroosh Sorooshian, George J. Huffman, and Robert J. Kuligowski

Abstract

Visible and infrared data obtained from instruments onboard geostationary satellites have been extensively used for monitoring clouds and their evolution. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that will be launched onboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) series in the near future will offer a larger range of spectral bands; hence, it will provide observations of cloud and rain systems at even finer spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions than are possible with the current GOES. In this paper, a new method called Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed information using Artificial Neural Networks–Multispectral Analysis (PERSIANN-MSA) is proposed to evaluate the effect of using multispectral imagery on precipitation estimation. The proposed approach uses a self-organizing feature map (SOFM) to classify multidimensional input information, extracted from each grid box and corresponding textural features of multispectral bands. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is used to reduce the dimensionality to a few independent input features while preserving most of the variations of all input information. The above method is applied to estimate rainfall using multiple channels of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) onboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. In comparison to the use of a single thermal infrared channel, the analysis shows that using multispectral data has the potential to improve rain detection and estimation skills with an average of more than 50% gain in equitable threat score for rain/no-rain detection, and more than 20% gain in correlation coefficient associated with rain-rate estimation.

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Hamed Ashouri, Soroosh Sorooshian, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Michael G. Bosilovich, Jaechoul Lee, Michael F. Wehner, and Allison Collow

Abstract

This study evaluates the performance of NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) precipitation product in reproducing the trend and distribution of extreme precipitation events. Utilizing the extreme value theory, time-invariant and time-variant extreme value distributions are developed to model the trends and changes in the patterns of extreme precipitation events over the contiguous United States during 1979–2010. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) U.S. Unified gridded observation data are used as the observational dataset. The CPC analysis shows that the eastern and western parts of the United States are experiencing positive and negative trends in annual maxima, respectively. The continental-scale patterns of change found in MERRA seem to reasonably mirror the observed patterns of change found in CPC. This is not previously expected, given the difficulty in constraining precipitation in reanalysis products. MERRA tends to overestimate the frequency at which the 99th percentile of precipitation is exceeded because this threshold tends to be lower in MERRA, making it easier to be exceeded. This feature is dominant during the summer months. MERRA tends to reproduce spatial patterns of the scale and location parameters of the generalized extreme value and generalized Pareto distributions. However, MERRA underestimates these parameters, particularly over the Gulf Coast states, leading to lower magnitudes in extreme precipitation events. Two issues in MERRA are identified: 1) MERRA shows a spurious negative trend in Nebraska and Kansas, which is most likely related to the changes in the satellite observing system over time that has apparently affected the water cycle in the central United States, and 2) the patterns of positive trend over the Gulf Coast states and along the East Coast seem to be correlated with the tropical cyclones in these regions. The analysis of the trends in the seasonal precipitation extremes indicates that the hurricane and winter seasons are contributing the most to these trend patterns in the southeastern United States. In addition, the increasing annual trend simulated by MERRA in the Gulf Coast region is due to an incorrect trend in winter precipitation extremes.

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Hamed Ashouri, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Soroosh Sorooshian, Dan K. Braithwaite, Kenneth R. Knapp, L. Dewayne Cecil, Brian R. Nelson, and Olivier P. Prat

Abstract

A new retrospective satellite-based precipitation dataset is constructed as a climate data record for hydrological and climate studies. Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks–Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR) provides daily and 0.25° rainfall estimates for the latitude band 60°S–60°N for the period of 1 January 1983 to 31 December 2012 (delayed present). PERSIANN-CDR is aimed at addressing the need for a consistent, long-term, high-resolution, and global precipitation dataset for studying the changes and trends in daily precipitation, especially extreme precipitation events, due to climate change and natural variability. PERSIANN-CDR is generated from the PERSIANN algorithm using GridSat-B1 infrared data. It is adjusted using the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) monthly product to maintain consistency of the two datasets at 2.5° monthly scale throughout the entire record. Three case studies for testing the efficacy of the dataset against available observations and satellite products are reported. The verification study over Hurricane Katrina (2005) shows that PERSIANN-CDR has good agreement with the stage IV radar data, noting that PERSIANN-CDR has more complete spatial coverage than the radar data. In addition, the comparison of PERSIANN-CDR against gauge observations during the 1986 Sydney flood in Australia reaffirms the capability of PERSIANN-CDR to provide reasonably accurate rainfall estimates. Moreover, the probability density function (PDF) of PERSIANN-CDR over the contiguous United States exhibits good agreement with the PDFs of the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) gridded gauge data and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) product. The results indicate high potential for using PERSIANN-CDR for long-term hydroclimate studies in regional and global scales.

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Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Clement Guilloteau, Phu Nguyen, Amir Aghakouchak, Kuo-Lin Hsu, Antonio Busalacchi, F. Joseph Turk, Christa Peters-Lidard, Taikan Oki, Qingyun Duan, Witold Krajewski, Remko Uijlenhoet, Ana Barros, Pierre Kirstetter, William Logan, Terri Hogue, Hoshin Gupta, and Vincenzo Levizzani
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