Radar rainfall estimation for ground validation studies of the tropical rainfall measuring mission

Grzegorz J. Ciach, Witold F. Krajewski, Emmanouil N. Anagnostou, Mary L. Baeck, James A. Smith, Jeffrey R. McCollum, Anton Kruger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This study presents a multicomponent rainfall estimation algorithm, based on weather radar and rain gauge network, that can be used as a ground-based reference in the satellite Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The essential steps are constructing a radar observable, its nonlinear transformation to rainfall, interpolation to rectangular grid, constructing several timescale accumulations, bias adjustment, and merging of the radar rainfall estimates and rain gauge data. Observations from a C-band radar in Darwin, Australia, and a local network of 54 rain gauges were used to calibrate and test the algorithm. A period of 25 days was selected, and the rain gauges were split into two subsamples to apply cross-validation techniques. A Z-R relationship with continuous range dependence and a temporal interpolation scheme that accounts for the advection effects is applied. An innovative methodology was used to estimate the algorithm controlling parameters. The model was globally optimized by using an objective function on the level of the final products. This is equivalent to comparing hundreds of Z-R relationships using a uniform and representative performance criterion. The algorithm performance is fairly insensitive to the parameter variations around the optimum. This suggests that the accuracy limit of the radar rainfall estimation based on power-law Z-R relationships has been reached. No improvement was achieved by using rain regime classification prior to estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-747
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Radar rainfall estimation for ground validation studies of the tropical rainfall measuring mission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this