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Benchmarking High-Resolution Global Satellite Rainfall Products to Radar and Rain-Gauge Rainfall Estimates

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6 Author(s)
Anagnostou, E.N. ; Dept. of Civil & Environ. Eng., Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA ; Maggioni, V. ; Nikolopoulos, E.I. ; Meskele, T.
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This paper presents an in-depth investigation of the error properties of two high-resolution global-scale satellite rain retrievals verified against rainfall fields derived from a moderate-resolution rain-gauge network (25-30-km intergage distances) covering a region in the midwestern U.S. (Oklahoma Mesonet). Evaluated satellite retrievals include the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission multisatellite precipitation analysis and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center morphing technique. The two satellite products are contrasted against a rain-gauge-adjusted radar rainfall product from the WSR-88D network in continental U.S. This paper presents an error characterization of the Mesonet rainfall fields based on an independent small-scale, but very dense (100-m intergage distances), rain-gauge network (named Micronet). The Mesonet error analysis, although significantly lower than the corresponding error statistics derived for the satellite and radar products, demonstrates the need to benchmark reference data sources prior to their quantitative use in validating remote sensing retrievals. In terms of the remote sensing rainfall products, this paper provides quantitative comparisons between the two satellite estimates and the most definitive rain-gauge-adjusted radar rainfall estimates at corresponding spatial and temporal resolutions (25 km and 3 hourly). Error quantification presented herein includes zero- (rain detection probability and false alarm), first- (bias ratio), and second-order (root mean square error and correlation) statistics as well as an evaluation of the spatial structure of error at warm and cold seasons of 2004 and 2006.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 4 )