Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1109–1116, 2011

Special issue: Earth observation and water cycle science

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1109–1116, 2011

Review article 05 Apr 2011

Review article | 05 Apr 2011

Status of satellite precipitation retrievals

C. Kidd1 and V. Levizzani2 C. Kidd and V. Levizzani
  • 1Labortory for Atmospheres, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt and ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 2National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. Satellites offer an unrivalled vantage point to observe and measure Earth system processes and parameters. Precipitation (rain and snow) in particular, benefit from such observations since precipitation is spatially and temporally highly variable and with satellites overcoming some of the deficiencies of conventional gauge and radar measurements. This paper provides an overall review of quantitative precipitation estimation, covering the basis of the satellite systems used in the observation of precipitation, the dissemination and processing of this data, and the generation, availability and validation of these precipitation estimates. A selection of applications utilising these precipitation estimates are then outlined to exemplify the utility of such products.