APPLICATIONS OF SATELLITE-DERIVED PRECIPITATION PRODUCTS

The present page contains links to several applications of precipitation products available from various sources. Users are asked to address comments and/or alerts on new links to pkucera@ucar.edu, Dr. Paul Kucera

Aerosols, atmospheric chemistry,...

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Radar Science & Engineering
Evaluation of how much aerosol (smoke) gets scavenged out of aerosol models when satellite-precipitation is substituted for the model's own precipitation field. Which affects the modeled aerosol opt thickness. This was published recently:
Xian, P., J. S. Reid, J. F. Turk, E. J. Hyer, and D. L. Westphal, 2009: Impact of modeled versus satellite measured tropical precipitation on regional smoke optical thickness in an aerosol transport model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L16805, doi:10.1029/2009GL038823, 2009.
Contact: F. Joseph Turk

Agriculture, Disease Control, ...

Universidad de Buenos Aires, Dep. Ciencias de la Atmosfera y los Oceanos
Disease control, especially related with the evaluation of dengue over northern Argentina, joint with people at the CONAE (Argentina Space Agency). Monthly 3B42 is ingested in the model that evaluates the environmental conditions associated with the life of the mosquito.
Contact: Paola Salio
Soil moisture balance and risk for crops
Agreement between the Univerdidad de Buenos Aires and Ministerio de Agricultura, Oficina de Riesgo Agropecuario (ORA) developing a soil moisture balance and risk for different type of crops. An example of the products can be seen at http://www.ora.gov.ar/camp_actual_reservas.php. The home page shows results with observed precipitation. The idea is to extend this product to entire country. They are evaluating results and will have a product available soon on their home page.
Contact: Paola Salio
US Dept. of Agriculture and NASA
Supporting USDA Crop Explorer.
Contact: William L. Teng

Hydrology, Water Management, Land Surface Models, Global Water Cycle, ...

European Commission, 7th Framework Programme (FP7)
GLObal WAter Scarcity Information Service (GLOWASIS)
GLOWASIS aims at pre-validating a Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Global Service for Water Scarcity Information. It is set up as a one-stop-shop portal for water scarcity information, in which focus is put on: monitoring data from satellites and in-situ sensors
improving forecasting models with improved monitoring data
linking statistical water data in forecasting
promotion of GMES Services and European satellites.
In European and global pilots on the scale of river catchments it will combine hydrological models with in-situ and satellite derived water cycle information, as well as government ruled statistical water demand data. By linking water demand and supply in three pilot studies with existing platforms (European Drought Observatory and PCR-GLOBWB) for medium- and long-term forecasting in Europe, Africa and worldwide, GLOWASIS information will contribute both in near-real time reporting for emerging drought events as well as in provision of climate change time series. By combining complex water cycle variables, governmental issues and economic relations with respect to water demand, GLOWASIS will aim for the needed streamlining of the wide variety of important water scarcity information. More awareness for the complexity of the water scarcity problem will be created and additional capabilities of satellite-measured water cycle parameters can be promoted.
The project starts in January 2011 and the duration is 24 months. Participating institutions are: Deltares, (Netherlands, coordinator), CNR-ISAC (Italy), ECWMF (UK), JRC (EC. Belgium), NEO (Netherlands), University Utrecht (Netherlands), TU Wien (Austria), TNO (Netherlands), University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), IMGW (Poland), And University of Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa).
Contact: Rogier Westerhoff


Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften (IFM-GEOMAR), Germany
Plan to use the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite (HOAPS) data for estimating the fresh water budget over the ocean. Currently validating HOAPS precipitation data over the Baltic Sea by making use of our in-situ ship measurements. This comprises the detectability of precipitation measured by ship rain gauges as well as mean precipitation rates by applying an analysis scheme based on the kriging method on both, ship measurements and satellite estimates.
Up to 5 merchant ships are available cruising from Germany to Finland plus their R/V Alkor. The initial study uses measurements from 1995 to 1997. Measurements were performed using the ship rain gauges developed in our institute; interval of measurements is 8 min. With respect to analyses of precipitation fields, it is sufficient to estimate seasonal rain fall on a 1 x 1 degree grid with a sampling error of the order of 20%. At the moment, a student is analyzing the detectability of measured precipitation by HOAPS for collocated data due to the synoptic situation within the frame of her bachelor thesis. Originally measurements were performed for tests of the ship rain gauges. But last year, they had a contract with the German weather service to develop collocation software for HOAPS and COADS data. They extended this on 'special' data like our precipitation measurements and used these for a first comparison and test of the collocation software.
Contact: Karl Bumke


NASA
Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS)
See also details. Contact: Matthew Rodell
Monitor land surface emissivity changes that happen just after a precipitation event. Since the satellite (e.g., TRMM) overpass happens at a specific time, we use the 3-hrly precipitation data time history for a multiple-day previous time to see how much rain fell and how the emissivity changed relative to the "dry" state.
Contact: F. Joseph Turk
Monitoring global flood/drought conditions.
Daily update for TRMM NRT 3B42RT rainfall accumulation, anomaly and normalized anomaly maps (global and regional) of 3-hour, 24-hour, 10-day, 30-day, 60-day and 90-day.
Contact: Zhong Liu


NCAR, Research Applications Laboratory (RAL)
Using a variety of products, mostly for flash flood, hydro-modeling work and mostly in other countries where surface data is less available/reliable. The products we typically use are:
CMORPH
TRMM-3B42
PERSIANN
HydroEstimator
Contact: David J. Gochis


Philipps-Universität Marburg, Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing (LCRS), Germany
They plan to develop a satellite rainfall retrieval that merges information from Geostationary and Polar-Orbiting satellites and that is suitable for very high resolution precipitation estimation above the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Many attempts were made towards high resolution global precipitation retrievals such as TRMM 3B42, PERSIANN or CMORPH. However, they rely on the combination of passive microwave (PMW) and infrared (IR) sensors only. Exclusively, the TRMM product corrects for local bias by considering gauge observations. Information from additional geostationary channels are neglected so far though they can partly be used as proxies for cloud microphysical features such as the cloud water path (CWP) and the cloud phase (CP).
They are analyzing the performance of the existing global products in accordance with the governing rainfall processes on the TP. Based on this knowledge, a satellite estimate that best suits the local rainfall processes will be built. METEOSAT First Generation data on the Brightness of the water vapour band will be used to enhance the discrimination of raining and non-raining clouds, as well as Fengyun-2 channel differences (dT 3.75-10.8 and dT 3.75-7.0 for the CWP, dT 10.8-12.0 for CWP and CP and dT 7.0-12.0 for deep convection) when available. Gauge observations will be used for validation and bias correction. As the desired application of the retrieval is the input into numerical weather models, the aim is a 0.08 spatial and a 1 hour temporal resolution. Rainfall patterns will be calculated for the last decade.
They are trying to investigate the variability and trend of the water cycle in specific catchments on the Tibetan Plateau. Our project is part of a greater project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. The overall objective is the development of a monitoring system for this region.
They are trying to adapt or to develop a satellite based rainfall retrieval for this region. In this context, we are especially interested in the precipitation dynamic influenced by the westerlies and the monsoon circulation.
The project started in May 2011, so it is just at the beginning. At the moment, they are trying to assess the performance of PERSIANN, CMORPH and TMPA for this region.
Contact: Boris Thies


Universidad de Buenos Aires, Dep. Ciencias de la Atmosfera y los Oceanos
Estimation of areal precipitation from CMORPH, 3B42_V6 and RT for water management in Salto Grande dam. This dam is one of the principal producers of electrical power to Argentina and Uruguay.
Contact: Paola Salio


University of Maryland (ESSIC) and NASA TRMM
Global Heavy Rain, Flood and Landslide Estimates
Global product from NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Univ. of Maryland Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC).
TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA/3B42) data is used to monitor quasi-global heavy rainfall events, floods and landslides using hydrological models and landslide algorithms in real-time (updated every three hours). Additional flood results are found at: http://oas.gsfc.nasa.gov/CREST/global/
Contact: Robert F. Adler
GPM Land Surface Working Group (LSWG)
LSWG is a community group of scientists working on land surface-related topics to support GPM.
Contact: Yudong Tian


University of Oklahoma
Quasi-global near real-time hydrological prediction system
Global real time hydrological simulation and flood monitoring using distributed CREST model and satellite remote sensing technology from the HyDrometeorology and Remote Sensing LABoratory (HyDROS LAB).
Contact: Yang Hong
SERVIR-Africa
Regional high-resolution near real time hydrological predictionfor Africa from the HyDrometeorology and Remote Sensing LABoratory (HyDROS LAB).
Contact: Yang Hong


University of Wisconsin-Madison
NASA Energy and Water Cycle Study (NEWS)
Satellite rainfall datasets are being used extensively within the NASA Energy and Water Cycle Study (NEWS) program. Tristan is chairing a working group that is using GPCP and other satellite rainfall datasets to generate updated energy and water cycle climatologies. The precipitation datasets are being used directly in the water cycle estimates, to constrain runoff models, and to estimate atmospheric latent heat release on the energy budget side of things.
The working group has a Google group: https://sites.google.com/site/newccip/.
Contact: Tristan L'Ecuyer

Numerical Weather Prediction, Nowcasting, QPE, ...

China Meteorological Administration, National Satellite Meteorological Center, (NSMC)
FY-2 operational QPE product which is applied mainly in three aspects:
1. It's used in the weather consultation in China Meteorological Administration to show the hourly precipitation variation during disastrous weather such as rainstorm, typhoon etc.
2. It's used in the drought consultation in the National Climate Center to monitor the precipitation location and possibility. The result is included in the drought monitoring report.
3. It's used in the National Satellite Meteorological Center to produce the monthly satellite map for the Bulletin of Satellite Remote Sensing and Monitoring.
Contact: Dataserver
The second application is produced using FY-3B Microwave Radiation Imager (MWRI) data. It will be operational before July 15th, 2011 and will be applied for the Universiade ShenZhen in August 2011.
Web sites: Chinese and English.
Contact: Dataserver


NOAA, NESDIS, OSDPD, Satellite Services Division (SSD)
Ensemble Tropical Rainfall Potential (eTRaP)
Takes an ensemble approach to estimating rainfall amounts and probabilities associated with landfalling tropical systems.
Contact: Ralph R. Ferraro
Blended Total Precipitable Water (bTPW)
Although not specifically using a rain rate product, it uses TPW to help analyze and depict "atmospheric rivers" which are associated with heavy rainfall events in the mid and high latitudes.
Contact: Ralph R. Ferraro


Universidade de Sao Paulo
Sferics Timing and Ranging Network (STARTNET)
Within STARTNET algorithm are run that incorporate lightning and compute thunderstorm probabilities.
Contact: Carlos Augusto Morales Rodriguez