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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(4), 4092-4111; doi:10.3390/rs70404092

Assessment of Effective Seasonal Downscaling of TRMM Precipitation Data in Peninsular Malaysia

1
Graduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami Osawa, 192-0397 Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
2
Institute of Geospatial Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor Bharu, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ioannis Gitas and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 6 November 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 7 April 2015
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Abstract

Precise spatio-temporal measurements of rainfall during seasonal monsoons are critical for accurate hydrologic analyses in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. The use of satellite precipitation data is technologically sound but requires downscaling to minimize inherent uncertainties. The uncertainties at a local climate regime that are essential to be resolved are rarely reported; consequently, such work needs attention. To address this problem, we validated the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation data using high-resolution areal precipitation (0.125 deg.) at a seasonal scale. This study examined the performance of the monthly rainfall data product (TRMM 3B43) at the seasonal monsoon scale in the local climate region of Peninsular Malaysia. The high-resolution areal precipitation data (0.125 deg.) were derived from a dense rain gauge network ever collected in Peninsular Malaysia (n = 984). Three relevant performance elements were evaluated: (i) the ability to depict temporal rainfall variation (ii) the quantitative error between TRMM and ground rainfall; and (iii) the ability to estimate the actual rainfall amount. We found that the ability of monthly TRMM data to depict rainfall variation and its tendency to propagate large errors varied seasonally. The correlation between TRMM and ground rainfall was good during the wettest period in all local climate regions. The error was related to the northeast monsoon and inter-monsoon 2 (September–October). Meanwhile, the TRMM ratio varied regionally, rather than seasonally. Determining the local-scale uncertainties will facilitate future downscale activities using TRMM satellite data in this region. View Full-Text
Keywords: TRMM; monsoon seasons; high resolution areal precipitation; small region TRMM; monsoon seasons; high resolution areal precipitation; small region
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mahmud, M.R.; Numata, S.; Matsuyama, H.; Hosaka, T.; Hashim, M. Assessment of Effective Seasonal Downscaling of TRMM Precipitation Data in Peninsular Malaysia. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 4092-4111.

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