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Water 2016, 8(8), 325;

The Use of TRMM 3B42 Product for Drought Monitoring in Mexico

Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cd. Universitaria, 04510, CDMX, Mexico
Programa de Doctorado de la Facultad de Ingeniería Civil. Cd. Universitaria, 04510, CDMX, Mexico
Comisión Nacional del Agua, Insurgentes Sur 2416, 01020, CDMX, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
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Drought has been a recurrent phenomenon in Mexico. For its assessment and monitoring, several studies have monitored meteorological droughts using standardized indices of precipitation deficits. Such conventional studies have mostly relied on rain gauge-based measurements, with the main limitation being the scarcity of rain gauge spatial coverage. This issue does not allow a robust spatial characterization of drought. A recent alternative for monitoring purposes can be found in satellite-based remote sensing of meteorological variables. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the standardized precipitation index (SPI) in Mexico during the period 1998 to 2013, using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite product 3B42. Results suggest that Mexico experienced the driest conditions during the great drought between 2011 and 2012; however, temporal variability in the SPI was found across different climatic regions. Nevertheless, a comparison of the SPI derived by TRMM against the rain gauge-based SPI computed by the official Mexican Drought Monitor showed low to medium correlation of the time series though both SPIs managed to capture the most relevant droughts at the national scale. We conclude that the TRMM product can properly monitor meteorological droughts despite its relative short dataset length (~15 years). Finally, we recommend an assimilation of rain gauge and satellite-based precipitation data to provide more robust estimates of meteorological drought severity. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; SPI; rainfall; TRMM; Mexico drought; SPI; rainfall; TRMM; Mexico

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De Jesús, A.; Breña-Naranjo, J.A.; Pedrozo-Acuña, A.; Alcocer Yamanaka, V.H. The Use of TRMM 3B42 Product for Drought Monitoring in Mexico. Water 2016, 8, 325.

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