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Keywords:

  • rainfall;
  • tropical cyclone;
  • algorithm

[1] Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall retrieval algorithms are evaluated in tropical cyclone (TC) inner cores (IC), inner bands (IB), and outer rainbands (OB). In total, 1329 IC, 2149 IB, and 4627 OB storm regions are analyzed using data from a 12-year TRMM Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Feature (TCPF) database containing 1013 TCs viewed from December 1997 to December 2009. Attention is focused on the difference between the Precipitation Radar (PR) 2A25 and the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) 2A12 rainfall algorithms. The PR 2A25 produces larger mean rain rates than the TMI 2A12 in inner cores and inner bands, with the greatest difference occurring in hurricanes. This discrepancy is caused mostly by the TMI 2A12 significantly underestimating regions of moderate to heavy rain >15 mm hour−1 or when the PR reflectivity is greater than 30 dBZ. The TMI 2A12 rain rates are most closely related to the percentage coverage of 85 GHz polarization-corrected brightness temperature (PCT) <225 K in the IC and 85 GHz PCT <250 K in the IB and OB. These convective parameters are good predictors of the mean TMI 2A12 rain rate, but significant ice scattering is not always present in areas of heavy rain that are often widespread in TC inner regions. As a result, the TMI 2A12 algorithm may poorly measure the rain rate, particularly in the inner core of hurricanes.