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Validation of the H-SAF precipitation product H03 over Greece using rain gauge data


This paper presents an extensive validation of the combined infrared/microwave H-SAF (EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management) precipitation product H03, for a 1-year period, using gauge observations from a relatively dense network of 233 stations over Greece. First, the quality of the interpolated data used to validate the precipitation product is assessed and a quality index is constructed based on parameters such as the density of the station network and the orography. Then, a validation analysis is conducted based on comparisons of satellite (H03) with interpolated rain gauge data to produce continuous and multi-categorical statistics at monthly and annual timescales by taking into account the different geophysical characteristics of the terrain (land, coast, sea, elevation). Finally, the impact of the quality of interpolated data on the validation statistics is examined in terms of different configurations of the interpolation model and the rain gauge network characteristics used in the interpolation. The possibility of using a quality index of the interpolated data as a filter in the validation procedure is also investigated. The continuous validation statistics show yearly root mean squared error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE) corresponding to the 225 and 105 % of the mean rain rate, respectively. Mean error (ME) indicates a slight overall tendency for underestimation of the rain gauge rates, which takes large values for the high rain rates. In general, the H03 algorithm cannot retrieve very well the light (< 1 mm/h) and the convective type (>10 mm/h) precipitation. The poor correlation between satellite and gauge data points to algorithm problems in co-locating precipitation patterns. Seasonal comparison shows that retrieval errors are lower for cold months than in the summer months of the year. The multi-categorical statistics indicate that the H03 algorithm is able to discriminate efficiently the rain from the no rain events although a large number of rain events are missed. The most prominent feature is the very high false alarm ratio (FAR) (more than 70 %), the relatively low probability of detection (POD) (less than 40 %), and the overestimation of the rainy pixels. Although the different geophysical features of the terrain (land, coast, sea, elevation) and the quality of the interpolated data have an effect on the validation statistics, this, in general, is not significant and seems to be more distinct in the categorical than in the continuous statistics.

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This research has been financed by the EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) through the Visiting Scientist Activity of the Satellite Application Facility on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H-SAF) program (no HSAF_CDOP2_VS14_01_UNIFE_DCP).

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Feidas, H., Porcu, F., Puca, S. et al. Validation of the H-SAF precipitation product H03 over Greece using rain gauge data. Theor Appl Climatol 131, 377–398 (2018).

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