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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1240; doi:10.3390/rs9121240

Validation of Satellite Rainfall Products over a Mountainous Watershed in a Humid Subtropical Climate Region of Brazil

1
Remote Sensing Division (DSR), National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas, 1758, Jardim da Granja, São José dos Campos SP 12227-010, Brazil
2
Image Processing Division (DPI), National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas, 1758, Jardim da Granja, São José dos Campos SP 12227-010, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract

Remote sensing allows for the continuous and repetitive measurement of rainfall values. Satellite rainfall products such as Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) 3B42 and the Hydroestimator (Hydroe) can be potential sources of data for hydrologic applications, mainly in areas with irregular and sparse spatial distributions of traditional rain gauge stations. However, the accuracy of these satellite rainfall products over different spatial and temporal scales is unknown. In this study, we examined the potential of the TRMM 3B42 and Hydroe rainfall products to provide reliable rainfall estimates for a mountainous watershed in a humid subtropical climate region of Brazil. The purpose was to develop useful guidelines for future hydrologic studies on the potential and uncertainties of the rainfall products at different spatial and temporal resolutions. We compared the satellite products to reference rainfall data collected at 11 rain gauge stations irregularly distributed in the area. The results showed different levels of accuracy for each temporal scale evaluated. TRMM 3B42 performed better at the daily, monthly, and seasonal scales than Hydroe, while Hydroe presented a better correlation at the annual scale. In general, TRMM 3B42 overestimated the rainfall over the watershed at all evaluated temporal scales, whereas Hydroe underestimated it except for June–August at the seasonal scale. An evaluation based on contingency tables indicated that TRM 3B42 was better able to represent the local rainfall than Hydroe. The findings of this study indicate that satellite rainfall products are better suited for applications at the monthly and annual scales rather than the daily scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tropical Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA); TRMM; Hydroestimator; satellite rainfall products; mountainous watershed; Brazil Tropical Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA); TRMM; Hydroestimator; satellite rainfall products; mountainous watershed; Brazil
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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

dos Reis, J.B.C.; Rennó, C.D.; Lopes, E.S.S. Validation of Satellite Rainfall Products over a Mountainous Watershed in a Humid Subtropical Climate Region of Brazil. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1240.

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