Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Drought monitoring and reliability evaluation of the latest TMPA precipitation data in the Weihe River Basin, Northwest China


The high resolution satellite precipitation products bear great potential for large-scale drought monitoring, especially for those regions with sparsely or even without gauge coverage. This study focuses on utilizing the latest Version-7 TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA 3B42V7) data for drought condition monitoring in the Weihe River Basin (0.135×106 km2). The accuracy of the monthly TMPA 3B42V7 satellite precipitation data was firstly evaluated against the ground rain gauge observations. The statistical characteristics between a short period data series (1998–2013) and a long period data series (1961–2013) were then compared. The TMPA 3B42V7-based SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index) sequences were finally validated and analyzed at various temporal scales for assessing the drought conditions. The results indicate that the monthly TMPA 3B42V7 precipitation is in a high agreement with the rain gauge observations and can accurately capture the temporal and spatial characteristics of rainfall within the Weihe River Basin. The short period data can present the characteristics of long period record, and it is thus acceptable to use the short period data series to estimate the cumulative probability function in the SPI calculation. The TMPA 3B42V7-based SPI matches well with that based on the rain gauge observations at multiple time scales (i.e., 1-, 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month) and can give an acceptable temporal distribution of drought conditions. It suggests that the TMPA 3B42V7 precipitation data can be used for monitoring the occurrence of drought in the Weihe River Basin.


TMPA; satellite precipitation; drought monitoring; SPI; Weihe River Basin

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