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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 593; doi:10.3390/rs9060593

Simulation of Ship-Track versus Satellite-Sensor Differences in Oceanic Precipitation Using an Island-Based Radar

1
Department of Earth Sciences, Meteorological Institute, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Universität Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
2
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstraße 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 11 June 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [846 KB, uploaded 11 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

The point-to-area problem strongly complicates the validation of satellite-based precipitation estimates, using surface-based point measurements. We simulate the limited spatial representation of light-to-moderate oceanic precipitation rates along ship tracks with respect to areal passive microwave satellite estimates using data from a subtropical island-based radar. The radar data serves to estimate the discrepancy between point-like and areal precipitation measurements. From the spatial discrepancy, two statistical adjustments are derived so that along-track precipitation ship data better represent areal precipitation estimates from satellite sensors. The first statistical adjustment uses the average duration of a precipitation event as seen along a ship track, and the second adjustment uses the median-normalized along-track precipitation rate. Both statistical adjustments combined reduce the root mean squared error by 0.24 mm h 1 (55%) compared to the unadjusted average track of 60 radar pixels in length corresponding to a typical ship speed of 24–34 km h 1 depending on track orientation. Beyond along-track averaging, the statistical adjustments represent an important step towards a more accurate validation of precipitation derived from passive microwave satellite sensors using point-like along-track surface precipitation reference data. View Full-Text
Keywords: point-to-area problem; representativeness error; precipitation; island-based radar; RICO campaign; statistical adjustment; along-track observation; OceanRAIN; passive microwave sensor; HOAPS satellite rainfall point-to-area problem; representativeness error; precipitation; island-based radar; RICO campaign; statistical adjustment; along-track observation; OceanRAIN; passive microwave sensor; HOAPS satellite rainfall
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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

Burdanowitz, J.; Klepp, C.; Bakan, S.; Buehler, S.A. Simulation of Ship-Track versus Satellite-Sensor Differences in Oceanic Precipitation Using an Island-Based Radar. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 593.

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