Following the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory in early 2014, motivated from the successful Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite, an advanced and sophisticated global multi-satellite precipitation product – Integrated Multi- satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) was released at finer spatio-temporal scales. This precipitation product has been upgraded recently after several refinements and supposed to be superior to other existing global or quasi-global multi-satellite precipitation estimates. In the present study, IMERG precipitation is comprehensively evaluated for the first time against moored buoy observations over the north Indian Ocean at hourly scale for the study period of March 2014 to December 2015. IMERG precipitation performs considerably better over the Bay of Bengal than the Arabian Sea in both detection and estimation. The systematic error in IMERG is appreciably lower by about 14%, however, it generally overestimates in-situ precipitation and also exhibits noticeable false alarms. Furthermore, IMERG essentially shows an improvement over the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at a daily scale over the north Indian Ocean. IMERG precipitation estimates show overall promising error characteristics, but there is still a need of substantial efforts for improvement in the satellite-based precipitation estimation algorithms especially over data sparse regions such as north Indian Ocean.
Satya Prakash, M. R. Ramesh Kumar, S. Mathew, and R. Venkatesan 2017: How accurate are satellite estimates of precipitation over the north Indian Ocean?, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, doi:10.1007/s00704-017-2287-2.