Assessment of GPM and TRMM precipitation products over Singapore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The evaluation of satellite precipitation products (SPPs) at regional and local scales is essential in improving satellite-based algorithms and sensors, as well as in providing valuable guidance when choosing alternative precipitation data for the local community. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) has made significant contributions to the development of various SPPs since its launch in 1997. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission launched in 2014 and is expected to continue the success of TRMM. During the transition from the TRMM era to the GPM era, it is necessary to assess GPM products and make comparisons with TRMM products in different regions to achieve a global view of the performance of GPM products. To this end, this study aims to assess the capability of the latest Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) and two TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) products (TMPA 3B42 and TMPA 3B42RT) in estimating precipitation over Singapore that represents a typical tropical region. The evaluation was conducted at daily, monthly, seasonal and annual scales from 1 April 2014 to 31 January 2016. The capability of SPPs in detecting rainy/non-rainy days and different precipitation classes was also evaluated. The findings showed that: (1) all SPPs correlated well with measurements from gauges at the monthly scale, but moderately at the daily scale, (2) SPPs performed better in the northeast monsoon season (1 December-15 March) than in the inter-monsoon 1 (16 March-31 May), southwest monsoon (1 June-30 September) and inter-monsoon 2 (1 October-30 November) seasons; (3) IMERG had better performance in the characterization of spatial precipitation variability and precipitation detection capability compared to the TMPA products; (4) for the daily precipitation estimates, IMERG had the lowest systematic bias, followed by 3B42 and 3B42RT; and (5) most of the SPPs overestimated moderate precipitation events (1-20 mm/day), while underestimating light (0.1-1 mm/day) and heavy ( > 20 mm/day) precipitation events. Overall, IMERG is superior but with only slight improvement compared to the TMPA products over Singapore. This study is one of the earliest assessments of IMERG and a comparison of it with TMPA products in Singapore. Our findings were compared with existing studies conducted in other regions, and some limitations of the IMERG and TMPA products in this tropical region were identified and discussed. This study provides an added value to the understanding of the global performance of the IMERG product.


External organisations
  • University of Science, Malaysia
  • National University of Singapore
  • Technical University of Munich
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


  • 3B42, GPM, IMERG, Precipitation, Satellite, Singapore, TRMM, Tropical, Validation
Original languageEnglish
Article number720
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes