Rainfall Estimation from ESMR-5 Measurements and Application to El Nio Academic Article uri icon


  • An algorithm to estimate monthly 5 5 area-averaged rain rate over the oceans from January 1973 to December 1976 using single-channel microwave data from the Nimbus-5 satellite has been developed. Comparison with island station rainfall measurements over the Pacific shows a remarkably high correlation between two data in the equatorial dry zone and South Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ) but a low correlation in the extratropics and equatorial western Pacific. The rainfall deviations from non-El Nino years April 1973 to December 1975 reveal the temporal and spatial variations produced by the 1972-73 and 1976-77 El Nino episodes. We observe an increase of rainfall over the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and a decrease over the equatorial western Pacific Ocean and eastern Australia during these events. Consistent with previous work, the rainfall anomaly of the 1972-73 El Nino was much stronger than that of the 1976-77 El Nino. -Authors

published proceedings

  • Journal of Applied Meteorology

author list (cited authors)

  • Lim, H., Graves, C. E., North, G. R., & Wilheit, T. T.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995 11:11 AM