2021
  • Non-ICIMOD publication

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Assessment of GPM-era satellite products’ (IMERG and GSMaP) ability to detect precipitation extremes over mountainous country Nepal

  • Bikash Nepal
  • Dibas Shrestha
  • Shankar Sharma
  • Mandira Singh Shrestha
  • Deepak Aryal
  • Nitesh Shrestha
  • Summary

The reliability of satellite precipitation products is important in climatic and hydro-meteorological studies, which is especially true in mountainous regions because of the lack of observations in these areas. Two recent satellite rainfall estimates (SREs) from Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)-era—Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG-V06) and gauge calibrated Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP-V07) are evaluated for their spatiotemporal accuracy and ability to capture extreme precipitation events using 279 gauge stations from southern slope of central Himalaya, Nepal, between 2014 and 2019. The overall result suggests that both SREs can capture the spatiotemporal precipitation variability, although they both underestimated the observed precipitation amount. Between the two, the IMERG product shows a more consistent performance with a higher correlation coefficient (0.52) and smaller bias (−2.49 mm/day) than the GSMaP product. It is worth mentioning that the monthly gauge-calibrated IMERG product yields better detection capability (higher probability of detection (POD) values) of daily precipitation events than the daily gauge calibrated GSMaP product; however, they both show similar performance in terms of false alarm ratio (FAR) and critical success index (CSI). Assessment based on extreme precipitation indices revealed that the IMERG product outperforms GSMaP in capturing daily precipitation extremes (RX1Day and RX5Day). In contrast, the GSMaP product tends to be more consistent in capturing the duration and threshold-based precipitation extremes (consecutive dry days (CDD), consecutive wet days (CWD), number of heavy precipitation days (R10mm), and number of extreme precipitation days (R25mm)). Therefore, it is suggested that the IMERG product can be a good alternative for monitoring daily extremes; meanwhile, GSMaP could be a better option for duration-based extremes in the mountainous region.

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