83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM): Status, Science Highlights and Future
Robert F. Adler, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) will have completed five years in orbit by February 2003. This successful research mission, a joint U.S./Japan effort, has become a key element in the routine monitoring of global precipitation. The package of rain measuring instrumentation, including the first meteorological radar in space, continues to function perfectly, and with the increase in orbital altitude (from 350 km to 400 km) the mission will continue for at least two more years. A summary of research highlights will be presented focusing on application of TRMM data to topics ranging over climate analysis, improving forecasts, and storm and precipitation processes. One focus of the talk will be the quasi-global TRMM real-time merged rainfall analysis with 3-hr resolution, which uses TRMM to calibrate estimates from other polar-orbit and geosynchronous satellites. These rainfall estimates provide useful information for assimilation into numerical models and for hydrological studies, including flood monitoring.

Plans for the next re-processing (Version 6) of the TRMM products (to begin in January 2003) will be outlined, including the impact of improved precipitation algorithms. Preliminary testing of the new algorithms indicates a convergence of precipitation estimates to within about 5%. The TRMM-based multi-satellite analysis will obtain a time resolution of 3-hours for the entire period of January 1998 to the present. This 3-hr research product will complement the 3-hr real-time product. Estimates of the vertical profile of latent heat release will be routinely produced as part of this improved data set. Examples of these new products will be shown.

The evolution of global precipitation analysis, starting with TRMM and incorporating Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) data on AQUA and ADEOS II and eventually data from the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) will also be described.

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