Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 120, Issue 3, pp 177–187

GPS-derived precipitable water vapour and its comparison with MODIS data for Almora, Central Himalaya, India


    • Water Resource Management and Climate Study, Watershed Processed and Management ThemeG. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
  • Kireet Kumar
    • Watershed Management and Environmental Engineering, Watershed Processed and Management ThemeG. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
  • Bimal Pande
    • High Energy Physics, D.S.B. CampusKumaun University
  • Mukesh Chandra Pant
    • Information Technology AnalystTata Consultancy Services
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00703-013-0242-z

Cite this article as:
Joshi, S., Kumar, K., Pande, B. et al. Meteorol Atmos Phys (2013) 120: 177. doi:10.1007/s00703-013-0242-z


The present study is an attempt to analyse the precipitable water vapour (PWV) derived from Global Positioning System (GPS) and observed meteorological data over Almora, Central Himalayan Region. The PWV values derived using GPS study is compared with the corresponding moderate resolution imaging spectro-radiometer (MODIS) data. The statistical analysis reveals a positive correlation between both methods. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer near-infrared (MODIS NIR) clear column water vapour product shows a higher correlation (R2 = 90–93 %) with GPS-derived precipitable water vapour on annual scale as compared to the seasonal scale (R2 = 62–87 %). MODIS is found to be overestimating in NIR clear column where the magnitude of bias and RMSE show systematic changes from season to season. Monsoon is an important phenomenon in the Indian weather context and holds significant importance in Central Himalayan ecosystem. The monthly and seasonal variation in precipitable water vapour is related with monsoon onset in the region. Diurnal variations in precipitable water vapour are studied with other meteorological data over Almora during dry and wet season. The precipitable water vapour had minimum value in the morning, increases in the afternoon to evening and again decreases to the midnight in both the dry and wet seasons. These results suggest that diurnal variation of water vapour is caused by the transport of water vapour by thermally induced local circulation.

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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013