Acta Meteorologica Sinica

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 734–741 | Cite as

Validation of the satellite-derived rainfall estimates over the Tibet

  • Duo Chu (除 多)Email author
  • Tundrop Pubu (普布顿珠)
  • Ghancan Norbu (罗布坚参)
  • Bajracharya Sagar
  • Shrestha Mandira
  • Jianping Guo (郭建平)


Measuring rainfall from space appears to be the only cost effective and viable means in estimating regional precipitation over the Tibet, and the satellite rainfall products are essential to hydrological and agricultural modeling. A long-standing problem in the meteorological and hydrological studies is that there is only a sparse raingauge network representing the spatial distribution of precipitation and its quantity on small scales over the Tibet. Therefore, satellite derived quantitative precipitation estimates are extremely useful for obtaining rainfall patterns that can be used by hydrological models to produce forecasts of river discharge and to delineate the flood hazard area. In this paper, validation of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) RFE (rainfall estimate) 2.0 data was made by using daily rainfall observations at 11 weather stations over different climate zones from southeast to northwest of the Tibet during the rainy season from 1 June to 30 September 2005 and 2006. Analysis on the time series of daily rainfall of RFE-CPC and observed data in different climate zones reveals that the mean correlation coefficients between satellite estimated and observed rainfall is 0.74. Only at Pali and Nielamu stations located in the southern brink of the Tibet along the Himalayan Mountains, are the correlation coefficients less than 0.62. In addition, continuous validations show that the RFE performed well in different climate zones, with considerably low mean error (ME) and root mean square error (RMSE) scores except at Nielamu station along the Himalayan range. Likewise, for the dichotomous validation, at most stations over the Tibet, the probability of detection (POD) values is above 73% while the false alarm rate (FAR) is between 1% and 12%. Overall, NOAA CPC RFE 2.0 products performed well in the estimation and monitoring of rainfall over the Tibet and can be used to analyze the precipitation pattern, produce discharge forecast, and delineate the flood hazard area.

Key words

precipitation validation satellite rainfall estimation Tibetan Plateau 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duo Chu (除 多)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tundrop Pubu (普布顿珠)
    • 3
  • Ghancan Norbu (罗布坚参)
    • 3
  • Bajracharya Sagar
    • 4
  • Shrestha Mandira
    • 4
  • Jianping Guo (郭建平)
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Plateau MeteorologyCMAChengduChina
  2. 2.Tibet Institute of Plateau Atmospheric and Environmental SciencesLhasaChina
  3. 3.Tibet Weather ObservatoryTibet Meteorological ServiceLhasaChina
  4. 4.International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)KathmanduNepal
  5. 5.Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesCMABeijingChina

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