Evaluating reanalysis and satellite-based precipitation at regional scale: A case study in southern Mexico

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Mirce Ivón Morales-Velázquez
Graciela del Socorro Herrera
Javier Aparicio
Arezoo Rafieeinasab
René Lobato-Sánchez


Accurate precipitation data is essential for any hydrometeorological study, particularly for calibration and simulation of hydrological models. In this paper, we evaluate the precipitation of two different reanalysis products (the ERA5 and GLDAS), and two satellite-based precipitation products (TRMM 3B42 and CHIRPS) over the La Sierra river basins in Southern Mexico, on regional and daily time scales, from 2008 to 2010. We compare the collocated gridded precipitation data against in-situ precipitation measurements in each gauge station, as well as the mean areal precipitation (MAP) over the catchments in the study area for the different products. The Pearson correlation coefficient, the root mean square error, and the multiplicative bias metrics suggest that CHIRPS and ERA5 are the highest quality precipitation products over the study area. CHIRPS performs better on the grid to point comparison, estimating better precipitation events from 10-50 mm, above 100 mm, and for all the values without threshold. ERA5 does better for precipitation from 0-10 and 50-100 mm. These two datasets also have better performance on representing the spatial rainfall variability according to the mean annual precipitation and MAP analysis, showing statistical values close to each other.


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Author Biographies

Mirce Ivón Morales-Velázquez, Programa de Maestría y Doctorado en Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Edificio “S” – “Bernardo Quintana Arrioja”, Primer Piso, Facultad de Ingeniería, Cd. Universitaria, 04510, CDMX, Mexico

Ph D student

Graciela del Socorro Herrera, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geofísica, Departamento de Recursos Naturales, Circuito de la Investigación Científica s/n, C.U., Coyoacán, 04150 CDMX, Mexico

Investigador Titular A

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