DOI: 10.1175/jhm560.1 ISSN:

The TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA): Quasi-Global, Multiyear, Combined-Sensor Precipitation Estimates at Fine Scales

George J. Huffman, David T. Bolvin, Eric J. Nelkin, David B. Wolff, Robert F. Adler, Guojun Gu, Yang Hong, Kenneth P. Bowman, Erich F. Stocker
  • Atmospheric Science


The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) provides a calibration-based sequential scheme for combining precipitation estimates from multiple satellites, as well as gauge analyses where feasible, at fine scales (0.25° × 0.25° and 3 hourly). TMPA is available both after and in real time, based on calibration by the TRMM Combined Instrument and TRMM Microwave Imager precipitation products, respectively. Only the after-real-time product incorporates gauge data at the present. The dataset covers the latitude band 50°N–S for the period from 1998 to the delayed present. Early validation results are as follows: the TMPA provides reasonable performance at monthly scales, although it is shown to have precipitation rate–dependent low bias due to lack of sensitivity to low precipitation rates over ocean in one of the input products [based on Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B (AMSU-B)]. At finer scales the TMPA is successful at approximately reproducing the surface observation–based histogram of precipitation, as well as reasonably detecting large daily events. The TMPA, however, has lower skill in correctly specifying moderate and light event amounts on short time intervals, in common with other finescale estimators. Examples are provided of a flood event and diurnal cycle determination.

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