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Climate 2015, 3(4), 964-982; doi:10.3390/cli3040964

Evaluation of Precipitation Climatology Derived from TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Product over Land with Two Gauge-Based Products

Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems (CSISS), George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Academic Editor: Menglin Susan Jin
Received: 3 April 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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Abstract

The NASA/JAXA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) has been in operation for over 17 years since 1997. The length of TRMM is far shorter than those from ground observations, raising a question as to whether TRMM derived climatology products are good enough for research and applications. In this study, three climatologies derived from a blended product (the TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) monthly product or 3B43) and gauge-based ground observations (Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) and Willmott and Matsuura (WM)) are compared over land on a global scale (50° N–50° S) to assess the performance and weaknesses of the TMPA-derived climatology. Results show that the 3B43 climatology matches well with the two gauge-based climatologies in all seasons in terms of spatial distribution, zonal means as well as seasonal variations. However, large variations are found in light rain (<0.5 mm/day) regions such as the Sahara Desert. At high rain rates, large negative biases (3B43 < WM < GPCC) are found in orographically influenced regions such as windward sides of monsoon mountains in JJA, which is associated with underestimation of shallow orographic rain rates in microwave radiometer algorithms and sparse gauge data for bias correction. Nonetheless, biases in 3B43 exist and vary with geographic locations due to a number of factors such as gauge availability and algorithm issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: climatology; precipitation; TRMM; gauges; satellites; comparisons; droughts climatology; precipitation; TRMM; gauges; satellites; comparisons; droughts
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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

Liu, Z. Evaluation of Precipitation Climatology Derived from TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Product over Land with Two Gauge-Based Products. Climate 2015, 3, 964-982.

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