To obtain independent, consecutive, and high-resolution precipitation data, the four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) method was applied to directly assimilate satellite precipitation products into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The precipitation products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 (TRMM 3B42) and its successor, the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM IMERG) were assimilated in this study. Two heavy precipitation events that occurred over the Huaihe River basin in eastern China were studied. Before assimilation, the WRF model simulations were first performed with different forcing data to select more suitable forcing data and determine the control experiments for the subsequent assimilation experiments. Then, TRMM 3B42 and GPM IMERG were separately assimilated into the WRF. The simulated precipitation results in the outer domain (D01), with a 27-km resolution, and the inner domain (D02), with a 9-km resolution, were evaluated in detail. The assessments showed that (1) 4D-Var with TRMM 3B42 or GPM IMERG could both significantly improve WRF precipitation predictions at a time interval of approximately 12 h; (2) the WRF simulated precipitation assimilated with GPM IMERG outperformed the one with TRMM 3B42; (3) for the WRF output precipitation assimilated with GPM IMERG over D02, which has spatiotemporal resolutions of 9 km and 50 s, the correlation coefficients of the studied events in August and November were 0.74 and 0.51, respectively, at the point and daily scales, and the mean Heidke skill scores for the two studied events both reached 0.31 at the grid and hourly scales. This study can provide references for the assimilation of TRMM 3B42 or GPM IMERG into the WRF model using 4D-Var, which is especially valuable for hydrological applications of GPM IMERG during the transition period from the TRMM era into the GPM era.
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