Remote Sensing, Volume 12, Issue 8

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Cross-Examination of Similarity, Difference and Deficiency of Gauge, Radar and Satellite Precipitation Measuring Uncertainties for Extreme Events Using Conventional Metrics and Multiplicative Triple Collocation
Zhi Li | Mengye Chen | Shang Gao | Hong Zhou | Guoqiang Tang | Yixin Wen | Jonathan J. Gourley | Yang Hong

Quantifying uncertainties of precipitation estimation, especially in extreme events, could benefit early warning of water-related hazards like flash floods and landslides. Rain gauges, weather radars, and satellites are three mainstream data sources used in measuring precipitation but have their own inherent advantages and deficiencies. With a focus on extremes, the overarching goal of this study is to cross-examine the similarities and differences of three state-of-the-art independent products (Muti-Radar Muti-Sensor Quantitative Precipitation Estimates, MRMS; National Center for Environmental Prediction gridded gauge-only hourly precipitation product, NCEP; Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM, IMERG), with both traditional metrics and the Multiplicative Triple Collection (MTC) method during Hurricane Harvey and multiple Tropical Cyclones. The results reveal that: (a) the consistency of cross-examination results against traditional metrics approves the applicability of MTC in extreme events; (b) the consistency of cross-events of MTC evaluation results also suggests its robustness across individual storms; (c) all products demonstrate their capacity of capturing the spatial and temporal variability of the storm structures while also magnifying respective inherent deficiencies; (d) NCEP and IMERG likely underestimate while MRMS overestimates the storm total accumulation, especially for the 500-year return Hurricane Harvey; (e) both NCEP and IMERG underestimate extreme rainrates (>= 90 mm/h) likely due to device insensitivity or saturation while MRMS maintains robust across the rainrate range; (g) all three show inherent deficiencies in capturing the storm core of Harvey possibly due to device malfunctions with the NCEP gauges, relative low spatiotemporal resolution of IMERG, and the unusual “hot” MRMS radar signals. Given the unknown ground reference assumption of MTC, this study suggests that MRMS has the best overall performance. The similarities, differences, advantages, and deficiencies revealed in this study could guide the users for emergency response and motivate the community not only to improve the respective sensor/algorithm but also innovate multidata merging methods for one best possible product, specifically suitable for extreme storm events.