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Seasonal evaluation of evapotranspiration fluxes from MODIS satellite and mesoscale model downscaled global reanalysis datasets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Prashant K. Srivastava
  • Dawei Han
  • Tanvir Islam
  • George P. Petropoulos
  • Manika Gupta
  • Qiang Dai
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Mar 2015


Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) is an important variable in hydrological modeling, which is not always available, especially for ungauged catchments. Satellite data, such as those available from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and global datasets via the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis (ERA) interim and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis are important sources of information for ETo. This study explored the seasonal performances of MODIS (MOD16) and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model downscaled global reanalysis datasets, such as ERA interim and NCEP-derived ETo, against ground-based datasets. Overall, on the basis of the statistical metrics computed, ETo derived from ERA interim and MODIS were more accurate in comparison to the estimates from NCEP for all the seasons. The pooled datasets also revealed a similar performance to the seasonal assessment with higher agreement for the ERA interim (r = 0.96, RMSE = 2.76 mm/8 days; bias = 0.24 mm/8 days), followed by MODIS (r = 0.95, RMSE = 7.66 mm/8 days; bias = −7.17 mm/8 days) and NCEP (r = 0.76, RMSE = 11.81 mm/8 days; bias = −10.20 mm/8 days). The only limitation with downscaling ERA interim reanalysis datasets using WRF is that it is time-consuming in contrast to the readily available MODIS operational product for use in mesoscale studies and practical applications.


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