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Multitemporal comparative analysis of TRMM-3B42 satellite-estimated rainfall with surface gauge data at basin scales: daily, decadal and monthly evaluations

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In order to examine the reliability and applicability of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Other Satellites Precipitation Product (3B42) Version 6 (TRMM-3B42) at basin scales, satellite rainfall estimates were compared with geostatistically interpolated reference data from 12 rain gauge stations for three consecutive years: 2005, 2006 and 2007. Gauge–TRMM-3B42 statistical properties for daily, decadal and monthly multitemporal precipitations were compared using the following cross-validation continuous statistical measures: mean bias error (MBE), root mean square difference (RMSD), mean absolute difference (MAD) and coefficient of determination (r 2) metrics. The averaged spatial–temporal comparisons showed that the TRMM-3B42 rainfall estimates were much closer to the geostatistically interpolated gauge data, with minimal biases of −0.40 mm day−1, −1.78 mm decad−1 and −6.72 mm month−1 being observed in 2006. In the same year, the gauge and TRMM-3B42 rainfall estimates marginally correlated better than in 2005 and 2007, with the daily, decadal and monthly coefficients of determination being 82.2%, 93.9% and 96.5%, respectively. The results showed that the correlations between the gauge-derived precipitation and the TRMM-3B42-derived precipitation increased with increasing temporal intervals for all three considered years. Quantitatively, the TRMM-3B42 observations slightly overestimated the precipitations during the wet seasons and underestimated the observed rainfall during the dry seasons. The results of the study show that the estimates from TRMM-3B42 precipitation retrievals can effectively be applied in the interpolation of missing gauge data, and in the verification of precipitation uncertainties at the basin scales with minor adjustments, depending on the timescales considered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Civil and Structural Engineering,Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya 2: Environmental Planning and Management Division, SES,Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya 3: Centre for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS), Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Publication date: 2012-12-20

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