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Climatology-Calibrated Precipitation Analysis at Fine Scales: Statistical Adjustment of STAGE IV towards CPC Gauge-Based Analysis

Abstract

Two widely used precipitation analyses are the CPC Unified Global Daily Gauge Analysis and Stage IV analysis based on quantitative precipitation estimate with multi-sensor observations. The Former is based on gauge records with a uniform quality control across the entire domain and thus bears more confidence, but provides only 24 hour accumulation at one eighth degree resolution. The Stage IV dataset, on the other hand, has higher spatial and temporal resolution, but is subject to different methods of quality control and adjustments by different River Forecasting Centers.

This article describes a methodology used to generate a new dataset by adjusting the Stage IV 6-hour accumulations based on available joint samples of the two analyses to take advantage of both datasets. A simple linear regression model is applied to the archived historical Stage IV and the CPC datasets after the former is aggregated to the CPC grid and daily accumulation. The aggregated Stage IV analysis is then adjusted based on this linear model and then downscaled back to its original resolution. The new dataset, named Climatology-Calibrated Precipitation Analysis (CCPA), retains the spatial and temporal patterns of the Stage IV analysis while having its long term average and climate probability distribution closer to that of the CPC analysis. The limitation of the methodology at some locations is mainly associated with heavy to extreme precipitation events, which the Stage IV dataset tends to underestimate. CCPA cannot effectively correct this due to the linear regression model and the relative scarcity of heavy precipitation in the training data sample.

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