Diurnal variability of tropical rainfall retrieved from combined GOES and TRMM satellite information

S. Sorooshian, X. Gao, K. Hsu, R. A. Maddox, Y. Hong, H. V. Gupta, B. Imam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Recent progress in satellite remote-sensing techniques for precipitation estimation, along with more accurate tropical rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) instruments, have made it possible to monitor tropical rainfall diurnal patterns and their intensities from satellite information. One year (August 1998-July 1999) of tropical rainfall estimates from the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) systems were used to produce monthly means of rainfall diurnal cycles at hourly and 1° × 1° scales over a domain (30°S-30°N, 80°E-10°W) from the Americas across the Pacific Ocean to Australia and eastern Asia. The results demonstrate pronounced diurnal variability of tropical rainfall intensity at synoptic and regional scales. Seasonal signals of diurnal rainfall are presented over the large domain of the tropical Pacific Ocean, especially over the ITCZ and South Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ) and neighboring continents. The regional patterns of tropical rainfall diurnal cycles are specified in the Amazon, Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, Calcutta, Bay of Bengal, Malaysia, and northern Australia. Limited validations for the results include comparisons of 1) the PERSIANN-derived diurnal cycle of rainfall at Rondonia, Brazil, with that derived from the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) radar data; 2) the PERSIANN diurnal cycle of rainfall over the western Pacific Ocean with that derived from the data of the optical rain gauges mounted on the TOGA-moored buoys: and 3) the monthly accumulations of rainfall samples from the orbital TMI and PR surface rainfall with the accumulations of concurrent PERSIANN estimates. These comparisons indicate that the PERSIANN-derived diurnal patterns at the selected resolutions produce estimates that are similar in magnitude and phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-1001
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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