PERSIANN-MSA: A precipitation estimation method from satellite-based multispectral analysis

Ali Behrangi, Kuo Lin Hsu, Bisher Imam, Soroosh Sorooshian, George J. Huffman, Robert J. Kuligowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Visible and infrared data obtained from instruments onboard geostationary satellites have been extensively used for monitoring clouds and their evolution. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that will be launched onboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) series in the near future will offer a larger range of spectral bands; hence, it will provide observations of cloud and rain systems at even finer spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions than are possible with the current GOES. In this paper, a new method called Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed information using Artificial Neural Networks-Multispectral Analysis (PERSIANN-MSA) is proposed to evaluate the effect of using multispectral imagery on precipitation estimation. The proposed approach uses a self-organizing feature map (SOFM) to classify multidimensional input information, extracted from each grid box and corresponding textural features of multispectral bands. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is used to reduce the dimensionality to a few independent input features while preserving most of the variations of all input information. The above method is applied to estimate rainfall using multiple channels of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) onboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. In comparison to the use of a single thermal infrared channel, the analysis shows that using multispectral data has the potential to improve rain detection and estimation skills with an average of more than 50% gain in equitable threat score for rain/no-rain detection, and more than 20% gain in correlation coefficient associated with rain-rate estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1429
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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