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Tufa Dinku, Pietro Ceccato, Keith Cressman, and Stephen J. Connor

Abstract

This paper evaluates rainfall detection capabilities of seven satellite rainfall estimates over the desert locust recession regions of the world. The region of interest covers the arid and semiarid region from northwestern Africa to northwestern India. The evaluated satellite rainfall products are the African rainfall climatology (ARC), rainfall estimation algorithm (RFE), Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 and its real-time version (3B42RT), NOAA/Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), and two versions of the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation moving vector with Kalman filter (GSMaP-MVK and GSMaP-MVK+). The reference data were obtained from the Desert Locust Information Service of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO data are qualitative information collated by desert locust survey teams from different countries during field campaigns. Such data can only be used to assess the rainfall detection capabilities of the satellite products. The validation region is divided into four subregions and validations statistics are computed for each region. The probability of detection varies from 70% for the relatively wet part of the validation region to less than 20% for the driest part. The main weakness of the satellite products is overestimation of rainfall occurrences. The false-alarm ratio was as high as 84% for the driest part and as high as 57% for the wetter region. The satellite products still exhibit positive detection skill for all of the subregions. A comparison of the different products shows that no single product stands out as having the best or the worst overall performance.

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Mark S. Kulie and Ralf Bennartz

1. Introduction Snowfall composes a nonnegligible amount of the total precipitation that falls at many mid- and high-latitude locations and obviously has important hydrological and societal impacts. Snow also plays a crucial role in ice sheet dynamics, so knowledge of annual snowfall accumulations is extremely important to areas of the globe that are covered by large expanses of ice (e.g., Greenland, Antarctica, and alpine glacial regions). Additionally, the importance of obtaining robust

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