Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 129, Issue 1–2, pp 353–362 | Cite as

Accuracy of TRMM precipitation data in the southwest monsoon region of China

  • Zhu GuofengEmail author
  • Qin Dahe
  • Liu Yuanfeng
  • Chen Fenli
  • Hu Pengfei
  • Chen Dongdong
  • Wang Kai
Original Paper


Accurate, high-resolution precipitation data is important for hydrological applications and water resource management, particularly within mountainous areas about which data is presently scarce. The goal of the this study was to assess the accuracy of TRMM 3B43 precipitation data from the southwest monsoon region of China between 1998 and 2011 based on the correlation coefficients, regression, and geostatistical methods. We found a strong correlation between TRMM 3B43 data and observational data obtained from meteorological stations, but the TRMM 3B43 precipitation data was consistently lower than that obtained from the weather stations. The TRMM 3B43 data was significantly different from the data obtained by weather stations located in the northwest and northeast regions of the Hengduan Mountains. The spatial distribution of precipitation obtained from TRMM 3B43 was also different from meteorological data, but the deviation was predominantly distributed along the northern longitude and southern latitude. In addition, the TRMM data more accurately reflected the regional precipitation patterns. Our results indicate that the TRMM 3B43 data should be used for hydrological applications and water resource management at meteorological stations that have a sparse and uneven distribution of observation stations in the southwest monsoon region.


Precipitation Data Tropical Rainfall Measure Mission Hengduan Mountain Precipitation Radar Tropical Rainfall Measure Mission Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was funded by the Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M570864), Open-ended Fund of State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. SKLCS-OP-2014-11), Northwest Normal University Young Teachers Scientific Research Ability Promotion Plan (No. NWNU-LKQN-13-10), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41273010, 41271133, 41361106, 41261104), and Major National Research Projects of China (No. 2013CBA01808). We gratefully acknowledge the NASA for the provision of the TRMM data ( and China Meteorological Bureau National Climatic Data Center for provision of the meteorological stations’ observation data (


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhu Guofeng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Qin Dahe
    • 2
  • Liu Yuanfeng
    • 1
  • Chen Fenli
    • 1
  • Hu Pengfei
    • 1
  • Chen Dongdong
    • 1
  • Wang Kai
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Geography and Environment Science of Northwest Normal UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Cold and Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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