Abstract

This study aimed at evaluating the three advanced satellite precipitation products (SPPs), i.e. CMORPH, TRMM 3B42V7 and PERSIANN, against the ground observation to evaluate their performance in detecting rain, capturing storms and rainfall pattern during 2014–2015 extreme flood events at three different river basins in Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan, Langat and Johor river basins). Several spatial interpolation methods, including Arithmetic Mean, Thiessen Polygon, Inverse Distance Weighting, Ordinary Kriging and Spline were applied on the ground observations to transform the point-based precipitation into areal precipitation. Slight variations in the interpolated values were found, but overall it was comparable. Based on the daily rainfall data for the duration of 62 days, this study found that all SPPs performed with acceptable accuracy, as shown by the Kelantan river basin; however, these SPPs did not estimate accurately for Langat and Johor river basins. Overall, TRMM and CMORPH outperformed PERSIANN for the Langat and Johor river basins. In conclusion, all SPPs were capable of predicting heavy rainfall during the northeast monsoon and the level of accuracy is promising for the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. However, as for the rest of the region, careful consideration should be given when applying the SPPs.

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