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Validation of TRMM Precipitation Radar Through Comparison of its Multi-Year Measurements to Ground-Based RadarA procedure to accurately resample spaceborne and ground-based radar data is described, and then applied to the measurements taken from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) and the ground-based Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D or WSR) for the validation of the PR measurements and estimates. Through comparisons with the well-calibrated, non-attenuated WSR at Melbourne, Florida for the period 1998-2007, the calibration of the Precipitation Radar (PR) aboard the TRMM satellite is checked using measurements near the storm top. Analysis of the results indicates that the PR, after taking into account differences in radar reflectivity factors between the PR and WSR, has a small positive bias of 0.8 dB relative to the WSR, implying a soundness of the PR calibration in view of the uncertainties involved in the comparisons. Comparisons between the PR and WSR reflectivities are also made near the surface for evaluation of the attenuation-correction procedures used in the PR algorithms. It is found that the PR attenuation is accurately corrected in stratiform rain but is underestimated in convective rain, particularly in heavy rain. Tests of the PR estimates of rainfall rate are conducted through comparisons in the overlap area between the TRMM overpass and WSR scan. Analyses of the data are made both on a conditional basis, in which the instantaneous rain rates are compared only at those pixels where both the PR and WSR detect rain, and an unconditional basis, in which the area-averaged rain rates are estimated independently for the PR and WSR. Results of the conditional rain comparisons show that the PR-derived rain is about 9% greater and 19% less than the WSR estimates for stratiform and convective storms, respectively. Overall, the PR tends to underestimate the conditional mean rain rate by 8% for all rain categories, a finding that conforms to the results of the area-averaged rain (unconditional) comparisons.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Liao, Liang (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Meneghini, Robert (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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