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Article

Evaluation of Sixteen Gridded Precipitation Datasets over the Caribbean Region Using Gauge Observations

1
Institute of Meteorology, Loma de Casa Blanca, Regla, La Habana 11700, Cuba
2
Department of Physics, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
3
Instituto Geográfico Universitario, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo 10103, Dominican Republic
4
Department of Physics, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill 11000, Barbados
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(12), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121334
Received: 14 October 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 21 November 2020 / Published: 9 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Central America and Caribbean Hydrometeorology and Hydroclimate)
The existence of several gridded precipitation products (GPP) has facilitated studies related to climate change, climate modeling, as well as a better understanding of the physical processes underpinning this key variable. Due to complexities in estimating rainfall, gridded datasets exhibit different levels of accuracy across regions, even when they are developed at relatively high resolution or using sophisticated procedures. The performance of 16 GPP are evaluated over the Caribbean region, which includes the Caribbean Islands, and portions of Central South America. Monthly data for sixty weather stations are used as a reference for the period 1983–2010. The 16 GPP include six products based on station data only, two that combine ground station and satellite information, two merging station and reanalysis information, four based on reanalysis, and two using multisource information. The temporal resolution of the GPP ranged between daily and monthly and spatial resolution from 0.033° to 0.5°. The methodological approach employed combined a comparison of regional and sub-regional precipitation annual cycles, the Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE) index, as well as several metrics derived from the standardized precipitation index (SPI). Overall, the best performances were obtained from GPCC025 and MSWEP2, likely reflecting the positive impact of the large number of station data utilized in their development. It is also demonstrated that a higher spatial resolution does not always mean better accuracy. There is a need for this kind of assessment when undertaking climate studies in regions like the Caribbean where resolution is a significant consideration. ERA5 performed best among the reanalyses analyzed and has the potential to be used to develop regionally based GPP by applying bias correction or downscaling techniques. The methodological approach employed provides a comprehensive and robust evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of GPP in the Caribbean region. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitation; precipitation datasets; Caribbean region; precipitation dataset performance evaluation precipitation; precipitation datasets; Caribbean region; precipitation dataset performance evaluation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Centella-Artola, A.; Bezanilla-Morlot, A.; Taylor, M.A.; Herrera, D.A.; Martinez-Castro, D.; Gouirand, I.; Sierra-Lorenzo, M.; Vichot-Llano, A.; Stephenson, T.; Fonseca, C.; Campbell, J.; Alpizar, M. Evaluation of Sixteen Gridded Precipitation Datasets over the Caribbean Region Using Gauge Observations. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 1334. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121334

AMA Style

Centella-Artola A, Bezanilla-Morlot A, Taylor MA, Herrera DA, Martinez-Castro D, Gouirand I, Sierra-Lorenzo M, Vichot-Llano A, Stephenson T, Fonseca C, Campbell J, Alpizar M. Evaluation of Sixteen Gridded Precipitation Datasets over the Caribbean Region Using Gauge Observations. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(12):1334. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121334

Chicago/Turabian Style

Centella-Artola, Abel, Arnoldo Bezanilla-Morlot, Michael A. Taylor, Dimitris A. Herrera, Daniel Martinez-Castro, Isabelle Gouirand, Maibys Sierra-Lorenzo, Alejandro Vichot-Llano, Tannecia Stephenson, Cecilia Fonseca, Jayaka Campbell, and Milena Alpizar. 2020. "Evaluation of Sixteen Gridded Precipitation Datasets over the Caribbean Region Using Gauge Observations" Atmosphere 11, no. 12: 1334. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121334

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