Precipitation data availability plays a crucial role in many climatic, hydrological and agricultural-related applications. In this study, the use of alternative data sources (i.e. interpolation methods and ERA5-Land reanalysis data) was combined for improving the spatially distributed precipitation estimates at the Simeto river basin, located in Eastern Sicily (Italy). A total of 51 rain gauges were used to generate a monthly precipitation dataset for the reference period 2002–2019. Among the 6 tested interpolation methods, Natural Neighbour was the method that predicted precipitation the best at monthly level with a Distance between Indices of Simulation and Observation (DISO) of 0.51. Radial Basis Functions and Inverse Distance Weighting provided the highest precipitation accuracies, respectively, for winter and autumn (with DISO values of 0.44 and 0.50, respectively), and for spring and summer seasons (with DISO values of 0.50 and 0.63, respectively). Underestimations on the ERA5-Land precipitation estimates were observed when compared to the most accurate interpolation methods both at monthly (25%) and seasonal temporal scales (21% in winter and summer, 36% in autumn), with the exception for spring. The performance was significantly improved when the interpolation estimates were corrected with local observations (with RMSD values ranging from 35.29 mm to 26.46 mm at monthly scale, and from 23.33–55.34 mm to 23.15–37.88 mm at seasonal level). The spatial distribution of the estimation errors associated to precipitation obtained from ERA5-Land reanalysis revealed a significant positive correlation (p value <0.05) with the altitude variation in each ERA5-Land cell within the basin under study. These results confirm the good performance on the combined use of alternative precipitation data sources, while adjustments are required to reduce site-specific uncertainties due to local microclimatic conditions occurring at the basin scale.

Assessing the use of ERA5-Land reanalysis and spatial interpolation methods for retrieving precipitation estimates at basin scale

Longo Minnolo G.;Vanella D.
;
Consoli S.;Pappalardo S.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Precipitation data availability plays a crucial role in many climatic, hydrological and agricultural-related applications. In this study, the use of alternative data sources (i.e. interpolation methods and ERA5-Land reanalysis data) was combined for improving the spatially distributed precipitation estimates at the Simeto river basin, located in Eastern Sicily (Italy). A total of 51 rain gauges were used to generate a monthly precipitation dataset for the reference period 2002–2019. Among the 6 tested interpolation methods, Natural Neighbour was the method that predicted precipitation the best at monthly level with a Distance between Indices of Simulation and Observation (DISO) of 0.51. Radial Basis Functions and Inverse Distance Weighting provided the highest precipitation accuracies, respectively, for winter and autumn (with DISO values of 0.44 and 0.50, respectively), and for spring and summer seasons (with DISO values of 0.50 and 0.63, respectively). Underestimations on the ERA5-Land precipitation estimates were observed when compared to the most accurate interpolation methods both at monthly (25%) and seasonal temporal scales (21% in winter and summer, 36% in autumn), with the exception for spring. The performance was significantly improved when the interpolation estimates were corrected with local observations (with RMSD values ranging from 35.29 mm to 26.46 mm at monthly scale, and from 23.33–55.34 mm to 23.15–37.88 mm at seasonal level). The spatial distribution of the estimation errors associated to precipitation obtained from ERA5-Land reanalysis revealed a significant positive correlation (p value <0.05) with the altitude variation in each ERA5-Land cell within the basin under study. These results confirm the good performance on the combined use of alternative precipitation data sources, while adjustments are required to reduce site-specific uncertainties due to local microclimatic conditions occurring at the basin scale.
Bias correction
ERA5-Land
Interpolation methods
Missing data
Precipitation
Spatial variability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/524123
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