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Tom D. Keenan, Bruce R. Morton, Michael J. Manton, and Greg J. Holland

The Island Thunderstorm Experiment (ITEX) is a field and modeling study of the tropical thunderstorms that form regularly over Bathurst and Melville Islands north of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, during the transition season and breaks in the summer monsoon season. Such thunderstorms are of widespread occurrence in the tropics and they play an important role in tropical dynamics. ITEX is a joint project of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre and Monash University's Centre for Dynamical Meteorology. Preliminary studies have been used to plan an intensive period of observations that was carried out from 20 November to 10 December 1988. The resulting data will provide the basis for a series of analytical and numerical studies of tropical island thunderstorms.

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Elizabeth E. Ebert, Michael J. Manton, Philip A. Arkin, Richard J. Allam, Gary E. Holpin, and Arnold Gruber

Three algorithm intercomparison experiments have recently been conducted as part of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project with the goal of (a) assessing the skill of current satellite rainfall algorithms, (b) understanding the differences between them, and (c) moving toward improved algorithms. The results of these experiments are summarized and intercompared in this paper.

It was found that the skill of satellite rainfall algorithms depends on the regime being analyzed, with algorithms producing very good results in the tropical western Pacific and over Japan and its surrounding waters during summer, but relatively poor rainfall estimates over western Europe during late winter. Monthly rainfall was estimated most accurately by algorithms using geostationary infrared data, but algorithms using polar data [Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I)] were also able to produce good monthly rainfall estimates when data from two satellites were available. In most cases, SSM/I algorithms showed significantly greater skill than IR-based algorithms in estimating instantaneous rain rates.

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