Owing to their advantages of wide coverage and high spatiotemporal resolution, satellite precipitation products (SPPs) have been increasingly used as surrogates for traditional ground observations. In this study, we have evaluated the accuracy of the latest five GPM IMERG V6 and TRMM 3B42 V7 precipitation products across the monthly, daily, and hourly scale in the hilly Shuaishui River Basin in East-Central China. For evaluation, a total of four continuous and three categorical metrics have been calculated based on SPP estimates and historical rainfall records at 13 stations over a period of 9 years from 2009 to 2017. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple posterior comparison tests are used to assess the significance of the difference in SPP rainfall estimates. Our evaluation results have revealed a wide-ranging performance among the SPPs in estimating rainfall at different time scales. Firstly, two post-time SPPs (IMERG_F and 3B42) perform considerably better in estimating monthly rainfall. Secondly, with IMERG_F performing the best, the GPM products generally produce better daily rainfall estimates than the TRMM products. Thirdly, with their correlation coefficients all falling below 0.6, neither GPM nor TRMM products could estimate hourly rainfall satisfactorily. In addition, topography tends to impose similar impact on the performance of SPPs across different time scales, with more estimation deviations at high altitude. In general, the post-time IMERG_F product may be considered as a reliable data source of monthly or daily rainfall in the study region. Effective bias-correction algorithms incorporating ground rainfall observations, however, are needed to further improve the hourly rainfall estimates of the SPPs to ensure the validity of their usage in real-world applications.
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