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Improving warm rainfall detection and rainfall estimation of a multiple-satellite based rainfall retrieval algorithm

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Precipitation as an essential component of the hydrologic cycle has a great importance to be measured accurately due to various applications such as hydrologic modeling, extreme weather analysis, and water resources management. Among different methods, meteorological satellites are one of the instruments that are widely used for precipitation estimation in fine spatial and temporal resolution. Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Imagery using Artificial Neural Network Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS) uses infrared (IR) data from Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites to retrieve precipitation based on relationship between clout top temperature (Tb) and rainfall rate (RR) using a neural network technique. The complexity of Tb-RR relationship for estimating precipitation causes uncertainty in PERSIANN-CCS rainfall product. This research is focused on improving PERSIANN-CCS rainfall retrieval using several approaches:

1) Bias adjustment of PERSIANN-CCS rainfall estimates using PMW satellite rainfall data: Using multi satellite data can enhance the quality of rainfall estimation considerably; in this research we have combined the rainfall data from PERSIANN-CCS and PMW rainfall to enhance the bias of PERSIANN-CCS precipitation estimates. The results showed improvement of rainfall estimation during summer and winter time.

2) Increasing the rainfall detection by including warm clouds rainfall: PERSIANN-CCS currently cannot detect rainfall from clouds with temperature warmer than 253 K. This study explores the impacts of increasing the temperature threshold on precipitation estimation. The results show that increasing the threshold level can improve the PERSIANN-CCS rainfall detection.

3) Generating a probabilistic framework for precipitation retrieval: The current version of PERSIANN-CCS retrieves precipitation based on the exponential function fitted to Tb-RR. The major assumption behind this relationship is that the heavier rainfalls are associated with colder clouds which cause underestimation of warmer clouds and overestimation of colder clouds rainfall. The probabilistic approach uses the corresponding sample relationship between cloud temperature and rainfall rate. The model is evaluated during a full summer season which showed improvement in both detection and estimation of rainfall in compare with the current PERSIANN-CCS algorithm.

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