Evaluation of TRMM Precipitation Products over Indian Subcontinent
Keywords: TRMM, 3B43, 3A12, PR, TMI, Radar
Abstract. Quantitatively accurate estimates of precipitation at high spatial resolutions often rely on a combination of individual satellite retrieved estimates merged using suitable techniques. Precipitation estimates from these merged data products are extensively being used by scientists and researchers for various hydro meteorological and climatological applications. The intent of this study is to evaluate the performance of gridded precipitation estimates from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) namely the 3A12 (from passive radar TRMM Microwave Imager i.e. TMI), 3A25 (from active radar Precipitation Radar i.e., PR) and 3B43 (combined data product). For this purpose, the present study utilizes 6 years of daily rainfall of spatial resolution 1° × 1°. Data period chosen is the Indian summer monsoonal months of JJAS from June 2002 to September 2007. Results indicate that over India, the TMI derived 3A12 product tends to overestimate rainfall compared to the PR derived 3A25 product for the seasonal data period. The 3A12 data product represents gridded monthly accumulations of the level 2 TMI derived 2A12 data product. The land rainfall algorithm of 2A12 is well known to be dependent on the 85 GHz high frequency channel. The present study conducts sensitivity analysis of 20 combinations of TMI frequency channels with respect to rainfall rate. The results conclude that a combination of TMI low frequency channels are better suited to model rainfall thereby questioning the usage of 85 GHz frequency channel for the generation of 2A12 rainfall estimates.