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NMQ: National Mosaic and Multi-Sensor QPE

Comparisons of rainrates from IMERG (near-realtime late-run) and Q3 (MRMS)


Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) Algorithm is intended to intercalibrate, merge, and interpolate "all" satellite microwave precipitation estimates, together with microwave-calibrated infrared (IR) satellite estimates, precipitation gauge analyses, and potentially other precipitation estimators at fine time and space scales for the TRMM and GPM eras over the entire globe. The system is run several times for each observation time, first giving a quick estimate and successively providing better estimates as more data arrive. The final step uses monthly gauge data to create research-level products. Background information and references are provided to describe the context and the relation to other similar missions. Issues involved in understanding the accuracies obtained from the calculations are discussed. Throughout, a baseline Day-1 product is described, together with options and planned improvements that might be instituted before or after launch depending on maturity and project constraints.

The IMERG gridded estimates are on a 30-minute temporal resolution and a 0.1-degree by 0.1-degree spatial resolution extending from 180W to 180E and 90S to 90N.

For more information about IMERG, downlad IMERG_ATBD_V4.4.pdf

This study utilizes the IMERG Late Run data, which is the near-realtime product in the IMERG suite of products that runs about 16 hours after observationtime. The IMERG Late Run data is now available at, or

Currently the late product is 16 hours behind realtime. This might improve over the course of the next Several months depending upon the input data latency and statistics requirements.

Thanks to George Huffman and David T. Bolvin for providing near-realtime Late-Run IMERG data.

Comparisons with MRMS (now called Q3)

The comparisons are conducted over the CONUS (20N-50N, 125W-65W) using gauge-calibrated(GC) IMERG, uncalibrated(UC) IMERG and MRMS data.

IMERG Data are available from 07 Mar 2015 to the present (delayed by about 16 hours), and there might be some missing MRMS files as of this web posting. We will do the comparison again once we get more data. Large amount of MRMS data are missing after 6 Jun 2016 as the level-3 MRMS is switched from 1h to 30-minute.

The comparisons are updated to May 2016.

  • Area-averaged daily rainfall
    MRMS rairates are classified as two groups with RQI and SNOW filters:
     (1) Best data, RQI=100 and SNOW=0 (liquid precipitation only, no snow/frozen precipitation);
     (2) All available data, RQI >=0 and SNOW <=100 (liquid rain and snow/frozen precipitation are all included)
    Rainrates (rain and non-rain) from each product (MRMS: Best & All, IMERG: GC & UC) at its native resolutions (MRMS: 0.01o,1h; IMERG: 0.1o, 0.5h) are accumulated to daily rain totals.
    Then the daily MRMS rain totals at 0.01o are interpolated to 0.1o resolution.
    Finally, the daily rain totals from each product are averaged over all matched MRMS/IMERG 0.1o pixels.

  • Scatter plot for area-averaged hourly rainrates

  • PDF by hourly rain (0.1o) occurrence and volume for different rain and RQI thresholds

  • Daily rainfall [mm] contours
    Daily rainfall for each product is accumulated from its native temporal resolutions (1h for MRMS, 0.5h for IMERG) at 0.1o spatial resolution. 0- and non-0 rain rates are all included.

  • Hourly rainrate [mm/h] contours
    Hourly rainrate for each product is accumulated from its native temporal resolutions (1h for MRMS, 0.5h for IMERG) at 0.1o spatial resolution. 0- and non-0 rain rates are all included.

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