Error threshold inference from Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite rainfall data and interpolated ground-based rainfall measurements in Metro Manila


The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is a group of satellites that provides global observations of precipitation. Satellite-based observations act as an alternative if ground-based measurements are inadequate or unavailable. Data provided by satellites however must be validated for this data to be reliable and used effectively. In this study, the Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) Final Run v3 half-hourly product is validated by comparing against interpolated ground measurements derived from sixteen ground stations in Metro Manila. The area considered in this study is the region 14.4° – 14.8° latitude and 120.9° – 121.2° longitude, subdivided into twelve 0.1° x 0.1° grid squares. Satellite data from June 1 – August 31, 2014 with the data aggregated to 1-day temporal resolution are used in this study. The satellite data is directly compared to measurements from individual ground stations to determine the effect of the interpolation by contrast against the comparison of satellite data and interpolated measurements. The comparisons are calculated by taking a fractional root-mean-square error (F-RMSE) between two datasets. The results show that interpolation improves errors compared to using raw station data except during days with very small amounts of rainfall. F-RMSE reaches extreme values of up to 654 without a rainfall threshold. A rainfall threshold is inferred to remove extreme error values and make the distribution of F-RMSE more consistent. Results show that the rainfall threshold varies slightly per month. The threshold for June is inferred to be 0.5 mm, reducing the maximum F-RMSE to 9.78, while the threshold for July and August is inferred to be 0.1 mm, reducing the maximum F-RMSE to 4.8 and 10.7, respectively. The maximum F-RMSE is reduced further as the threshold is increased. Maximum F-RMSE is reduced to 3.06 when a rainfall threshold of 10 mm is applied over the entire duration of JJA. These results indicate that IMERG performs well for moderate to high intensity rainfall and that the interpolation remains effective only when rainfall exceeds a certain threshold value. Over Metro Manila, an F-RMSE threshold of 0.5 mm indicated better correspondence between ground measured and satellite measured rainfall.


[Presented at AGU Fall Meeting, 12 December 2017, New Orleans, USA.]