Sampling errors for satellite-derived tropical rainfall: Monte Carlo study using a space-time stochastic model Academic Article uri icon


  • We first examine in detail the statistical description of rainfall on scales from 1 to 103 km, based on rainfall data from the Global Atmospheric Research Project Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE). A TRMM-like satellite is flown over a two-dimensional time-evolving simulation of rainfall using a stochastic model with statistics tuned to agree with GATE statistics. The distribution of sampling errors found from many months of simulated observations is found to be nearly normal, even though the distribution of area-averaged rainfall is far from normal. For a range of orbits likely to be employed in TRMM, sampling error is found to be less than 10% of the mean for rainfall averaged over a 500 500 km2 area. -from Authors

published proceedings

  • Journal of Geophysical Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Bell, T. L., Abdullah, A., Martin, R. L., & North, G. R.

citation count

  • 108

complete list of authors

  • Bell, Thomas L||Abdullah, A||Martin, Russell L||North, Gerald R

publication date

  • February 1990