Predictive Statistical Representations of Observed and Simulated Rainfall Using Generalized Linear Models. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explores the feasibility of predicting subdaily variations and the climatological spatial patterns of rain in the tropical Pacific from atmospheric profiles using a set of generalized linear models: logistic regression for rain occurrence and gamma regression for rain amount. The prediction is separated into different rain types from TRMM satellite radar observations (stratiform, deep convective, and shallow convective) and CAM5 simulations (large-scale and convective). Environmental variables from MERRA-2 and CAM5 are used as predictors for TRMM and CAM5 rainfall, respectively. The statistical models are trained using environmental fields at 0000 UTC and rainfall from 0000 to 0600 UTC during 2003. The results are used to predict 2004 rain occurrence and rate for MERRA-2/TRMM and CAM5 separately. The first EOF profile of humidity and the second EOF profile of temperature contribute most to the prediction for both statistical models in each case. The logistic regression generally performs well for all rain types, but does better in the east Pacific compared to the west Pacific. The gamma regression produces reasonable geographical rain amount distributions but rain rate probability distributions are not predicted as well, suggesting the need for a different, higher-order model to predict rain rates. The results of this study suggest that statistical models applied to TRMM radar observations and MERRA-2 environmental parameters can predict the spatial patterns and amplitudes of tropical rainfall in the time-averaged sense. Comparing the observationally trained models to models that are trained using CAM5 simulations points to possible deficiencies in the convection parameterization used in CAM5.

published proceedings

  • J Clim

altmetric score

  • 1.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, J., Jun, M., Schumacher, C., & Saravanan, R

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Yang, Junho||Jun, Mikyoung||Schumacher, Courtney||Saravanan, R

publication date

  • June 2019