Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 324–336 | Cite as

Assessment of the GPM and TRMM Precipitation Products Using the Rain Gauge Network over the Tibetan Plateau

  • Sijia Zhang
  • Donghai Wang
  • Zhengkun QinEmail author
  • Yaoyao Zheng
  • Jianping Guo
Special Collection on Weather and Climate Under Complex Terrain and Variable Land Surfaces: Observations and Numerical Simulations


Using high-quality hourly observations from national-level ground-based stations, the satellite-based rainfall products from both the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Integrated MultisatellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) and its predecessor, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), are statistically evaluated over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), with an emphasis on the diurnal variation. The results indicate that: (1) the half-hourly IMERG rainfall product can explicitly describe the diurnal variation over the TP, but with discrepancies in the timing of the greatest precipitation intensity and an overestimation of the maximum rainfall intensity over the whole TP. In addition, the performance of IMERG on the hourly timescale, in terms of the correlation coefficient and relative bias, is different for regions with sea level height below or above 3500 m; (2) the IMERG products, having higher correlation and lower root-mean-square error, perform better than the TMPA products on the daily and monthly timescales; and (3) the detection ability of IMERG is superior to that of TMPA, as corroborated by a higher Hanssen and Kuipers score, a higher probability of detection, a lower false alarm ratio, and a lower bias. Compared to TMPA, the IMERG products ameliorate the overestimation across the TP. In conclusion, GPM IMERG is superior to TRMM TMPA over the TP on multiple timescales.

Key words

Global Precipitation Measurement Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Tibetan Plateau precipitation 


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The IMERG Final Run data were provided by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center’s Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Laboratory and PPS, which develop and compute the IMERG as a contribution to GPM, and are archived at the NASA GES DISC ( The TRMM 3B42V7 and 3B43 data were provided by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight and obtained freely online at We acknowledge the editor and anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments, which helped improve the original manuscript substantially.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sijia Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Donghai Wang
    • 2
  • Zhengkun Qin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yaoyao Zheng
    • 3
  • Jianping Guo
    • 4
  1. 1.Joint Center for Data Assimilation Research and ApplicationsNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Atmospheric SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityZhuhaiChina
  3. 3.Institute of Meteorology and Climate ResearchKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Severe WeatherChinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesBeijingChina

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