Applicability Assessment of the 1998–2018 CLDAS Multi-Source Precipitation Fusion Dataset over China


  • Traditional hourly rain gauges and automatic weather stations rarely measure solid precipitation, except for those stations with weighing-type precipitation sensors. Microwave remote sensing has only a low ability to retrieve solid precipitation. In addition, there are no long-term, high-quality precipitation data in China that can be used to drive land surface models. To address these issues, in the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Land Data Assimilation System (CLDAS), we blended the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) morphing technique (CMORPH) and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA2) precipitation datasets with observed temperature and precipitation data on various temporal scales using multigrid variational analysis and tempo-ral downscaling to produce a multi-source precipitation fusion dataset for China (CLDAS-Prcp). This dataset covers all of China at a resolution of 6.25 km at hourly intervals from 1998 to 2018. We performed dependent and independent evaluations of the CLDAS-Prcp dataset from the perspectives of seasonal total precipitation and land surface model simulation. Our results show that the CLDAS-Prcp dataset represents reasonably the spatial distribution of precipitation in China. The dependent evaluation indicates that the CLDAS-Prcp performs better than the MERRA2 precipitation, CMORPH precipitation, Global Land Data Assimilation System version 2 (GLDAS-V2.1) precipitation, and CLDAS-V2.0 winter precipitation, as compared to the meteorological observational precipitation. The independent evaluation indicates that the CLDAS-Prcp dataset performs better than the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) precipitation dataset and is similar to the CLDAS-V2.0 summer precipitation dataset based on the hydrologi-cal observational precipitation. The simulated soil moisture content driven by CLDAS-Prcp is slightly better than that driven by the CLDAS-V2.0 precipitation, whereas the snow depth simulation driven by CLDAS-Prcp is much better than that driven by the CLDAS-V2.0 precipitation. This is because the CLDAS-Prcp data have included solid precipitation. Overall, the CLDAS-Prcp dataset can meet the needs of land surface and hydrological modeling studies.
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