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Kuo-lin Hsu, Tim Bellerby, and S. Sorooshian

Abstract

A new satellite-based rainfall monitoring algorithm that integrates the strengths of both low Earth-orbiting (LEO) and geostationary Earth-orbiting (GEO) satellite information has been developed. The Lagrangian Model (LMODEL) algorithm combines a 2D cloud-advection tracking system and a GEO data–driven cloud development and rainfall generation model with procedures to update model parameters and state variables in near–real time. The details of the LMODEL algorithm were presented in Part I. This paper describes a comparative validation against ground radar rainfall measurements of 1- and 3-h LMODEL accumulated rainfall outputs. LMODEL rainfall estimates consistently outperform accumulated 3-h microwave (MW)-only rainfall estimates, even before the more restricted spatial coverage provided by the latter is taken into account. In addition, the performance of LMODEL products remains effective and consistent between MW overpasses. Case studies demonstrate that the LMODEL provides the potential to synergize available satellite data to generate useful precipitation measurements at an hourly scale.

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Tim Bellerby, Kuo-lin Hsu, and Soroosh Sorooshian

Abstract

The Lagrangian Model (LMODEL) is a new multisensor satellite rainfall monitoring methodology based on the use of a conceptual cloud-development model that is driven by geostationary satellite imagery and is locally updated using microwave-based rainfall measurements from low earth-orbiting platforms. This paper describes the cloud development model and updating procedures; the companion paper presents model validation results. The model uses single-band thermal infrared geostationary satellite imagery to characterize cloud motion, growth, and dispersal at high spatial resolution (∼4 km). These inputs drive a simple, linear, semi-Lagrangian, conceptual cloud mass balance model, incorporating separate representations of convective and stratiform processes. The model is locally updated against microwave satellite data using a two-stage process that scales precipitable water fluxes into the model and then updates model states using a Kalman filter. Model calibration and updating employ an empirical rainfall collocation methodology designed to compensate for the effects of measurement time difference, geolocation error, cloud parallax, and rainfall shear.

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Tim Bellerby, Martin Todd, Dom Kniveton, and Chris Kidd

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This paper describes the development of a satellite precipitation algorithm designed to generate rainfall estimates at high spatial and temporal resolutions using a combination of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) data and multispectral Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) imagery. Coincident PR measurements were matched with four-band GOES image data to form the training dataset for a neural network. Statistical information derived from multiple GOES pixels was matched with each precipitation measurement to incorporate information on cloud texture and rates of change into the estimation process. The neural network was trained for a region of Brazil and used to produce half-hourly precipitation estimates for the periods 8–31 January and 10–25 February 1999 at a spatial resolution of 0.12 degrees. These products were validated using PR and gauge data. Instantaneous precipitation estimates demonstrated correlations of ∼0.47 with independent validation data, exceeding those of an optimized GOES Precipitation Index method locally calibrated using PR data. A combination of PR and GOES data thus may be used to generate precipitation estimates at high spatial and temporal resolutions with extensive spatial and temporal coverage, independent of any surface instrumentation.

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Martin C. Todd, Chris Kidd, Dominic Kniveton, and Tim J. Bellerby

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There are numerous applications in climatology and hydrology where accurate information at scales smaller than the existing monthly/2.5° products would be invaluable. Here, a new microwave/infrared rainfall algorithm is introduced that combines satellite passive microwave (PMW) and infrared (IR) data to account for limitations in both data types. Rainfall estimates are produced at the high spatial resolution and temporal frequency of the IR data using rainfall information from the PMW data. An IRTb–rain rate relationship, variable in space and time, is derived from coincident observations of IRTb and PMW rain rate (accumulated over a calibration domain) using the probability matching method. The IRTb–rain rate relationship is then applied to IR imagery at full temporal resolution.

MIRA estimates of rainfall are evaluated over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Over the global Tropics and subtropics, optimum IR thresholds and IRTb–rain rate relationships are highly variable, reflecting the complexity of dominant cloud microphysical processes. As a result, MIRA shows sensitivity to these variations, resulting in potentially useful improvements in estimate accuracy at small scales in comparison to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Precipitation Index (GPI) and the PMW-calibrated Universally Adjusted GPI (UAGPI). Unlike some existing PMW/IR techniques, MIRA can successfully capture variability in rain rates at the smallest possible scales. At larger scales MIRA and UAGPI produce very similar improvements over the GPI. The results demonstrate the potential for a new high-resolution rainfall climatology from 1987 onward, using International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project DX and Special Sensor Microwave Imager data. For real-time regional or quasi-global applications, a temporally “rolling” calibration window is suggested.

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Chris Kidd, Dominic R. Kniveton, Martin C. Todd, and Tim J. Bellerby

Abstract

The development of a combined infrared and passive microwave satellite rainfall estimation technique is outlined. Infrared data from geostationary satellites are combined with polar-orbiting passive microwave estimates to provide 30-min rainfall estimates. Collocated infrared and passive microwave values are used to generate a database, which is accessed by a cumulative histogram matching approach to generate an infrared temperature–rain-rate relationship. The technique produces initial estimates at 30-min and 12-km resolution ready to be aggregated to the user requirements. A 4-month case study over Africa has been chosen to compare the results from this technique with those of some existing rainfall techniques. The results indicate that the technique outlined here has statistical scores that are similar to other infrared/passive microwave combined algorithms. Comparison with the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) precipitation index shows that while these algorithms result in lower correlation scores, areal statistics are significantly better than either the infrared or passive microwave techniques alone.

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