The goal of this study is to quantitatively intercompare the standard products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) and its successor, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), with a dense gauge network over the midlatitude Ganjiang River basin in southeast China. In general, direct comparisons of the TMPA 3B42V7, 3B42RT, and GPM Day-1 IMERG estimates with gauge observations over an extended period of the rainy season (from May through September 2014) at 0.25° and daily resolutions show that all three products demonstrate similarly acceptable (~0.63) and high (0.87) correlation at grid and basin scales, respectively, although 3B42RT shows much higher overestimation. Both of the post-real-time corrections effectively reduce the bias of Day-1 IMERG and 3B42V7 to single digits of underestimation from 20+% overestimation of 3B42RT. The Taylor diagram shows that Day-1 IMERG and 3B42V7 are comparable at grid and basin scales. Hydrologic assessment with the Coupled Routing and Excess Storage (CREST) hydrologic model indicates that the Day-1 IMERG product performs comparably to gauge reference data. In many cases, the IMERG product outperforms TMPA standard products, suggesting a promising prospect of hydrologic utility and a desirable hydrologic continuity from TRMM-era product heritages to GPM-era IMERG products. Overall, this early study highlights that the Day-1 IMERG product can adequately substitute TMPA products both statistically and hydrologically, even with its limited data availability to date, in this well-gauged midlatitude basin. As more IMERG data are released, more studies to explore the potential of GPM-era IMERG in water, weather, and climate research are urgently needed.
Abstract:The performance of Day-1 Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission (IMERG) and its predecessor, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis 3B42 Version 7 (3B42V7), was cross-evaluated using data from the best-available hourly gauge network over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Analyses of three-hourly rainfall estimates in the warm season of 2014 reveal that IMERG shows appreciably better correlations and lower errors than 3B42V7, though with very similar spatial patterns for all assessment indicators. IMERG also appears to detect light rainfall better than 3B42V7. However, IMERG shows slightly lower POD than 3B42V7 for elevations above 4200 m. Both IMERG and 3B42V7 successfully capture the northward dynamic life cycle of the Indian monsoon reasonably well over the TP. In particular, the relatively light rain from early and end Indian monsoon moisture surge events often fails to be captured by the sparsely-distributed gauges. In spite of limited snowfall field observations, IMERG shows the potential of detecting solid precipitation, which cannot be retrieved from the 3B42V7 products.
grid pixel to meet a predefined error level. This study suggests that the actual quality of 39 satellite precipitation products could be better than conventionally evaluated or expected, 40 and hopefully enables non-subject-matter-expert researchers to have better understanding of the explicit uncertainties when using point-scale gauge observations to evaluate areal products.
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