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The development of composite algorithms for global rainfall estimation using data from the DMSP SSM/I

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Abstract. Considerable variation in the performance of passive microwave global rainfall algorithms, both spatially and temporally,was revealed by the first WetNet Precipitation Intercomparison Project, PIP-1, with no one algorithm achieving the best results, in all locations, and all the time. In this paper a Composite Algorithm Procedure is described for the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) algorithms submitted to PIP-1, that attempts through combining the best algorithm results from different regions of the globe to achieve better overall global rainfall estimates than are possible from any individual algorithm alone. The Composite Algorithm Procedure (CAP) involves the segmentation of the globe into homogeneous regions, the production of validation statistics for the various algorithm results in the different regions, and the identification of combinations of algorithms which perform best globally. The segmentations were based on aspects of the spatial and temporal variability of rainfall, or the microwave properties of the surfaces of the Earth. Initial results for the Composite Algorithm Procedure are presented for a sample month (October 1987): these confirm that improved global rainfall products can be produced in this way. Code detailing a selected Composite Algorithm based on the segmentation method of the microwave properties of the Earth has been supplied to the WetNet Support Group at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, for experimental, regular production of global rainfall data sets on a near real-time basis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-02-01

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