An evaluation of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) data over South Korea

Myung Seo Koo, Song You Hong, Jhoon Kim

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This paper documents the feasibility of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) over East Asia, centered in South Korea. The 3-hourly TMPA 3B42 version 6 data with horizontal resolution of 0.25° are quantitatively evaluated against available gauge estimates over South Korea, and compared with existing global estimates in describing spatial patterns of the East Asian summer monsoon rainfall in June, July and August (JJA) of 2006. Precipitation is examined in terms of amount, frequency, and intensity, at diurnal and semidiurnal cycles, as well as daily and seasonal mean characteristics. The TMPA data are found to be comparable to the surface observations over South Korea and other global estimates over East Asia on a seasonal time scale. On a daily time scale, the horizontal distribution of TMPA precipitation compares satisfactorily to that from the surface gauge data over South Korea for selected heavy rainfall events. A discernible discrepancy is analyzed in the daily evolution of precipitation when evaluated on individual observation sites; however, the average amount of rainfall over South Korea is still comparable to the gauge observation. A statistical analysis of frequency distribution reveals that the TMPA data show heavier precipitation on a daily time scale, but less precipitation in sub-daily time scales. Diurnal and semidiurnal variations of precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity from the TMPA are also comparable to the corresponding gauge estimates. Our study indicates that the TMPA data can be successfully utilized to visualize mesoscale precipitation activities over East Asia including the Korean peninsula, with oceanic information which is not able to be obtained from gauge estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep 22


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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