The Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS), which incorporates satellite imagery and in situ station information, is a new high-resolution long-term precipitation dataset available since 1981. This study aims to understand the performance of the latest version of CHIRPS in depicting the multiple timescale precipitation variation over Taiwan. The analysis is focused on examining whether CHIRPS is better than another satellite precipitation product—the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) final run (hereafter IMERG)—which is known to effectively capture the precipitation variation over Taiwan. We carried out the evaluations made for annual cycle, seasonal cycle, interannual variation, and daily variation during 2001–2019. Our results show that IMERG is slightly better than CHIRPS considering most of the features examined; however, CHIRPS performs better than that of IMERG in representing the (1) magnitude of the annual cycle of monthly precipitation climatology, (2) spatial distribution of the seasonal mean precipitation for all four seasons, (3) quantitative precipitation estimation of the interannual variation of area-averaged winter precipitation in Taiwan, and (4) occurrence frequency of the non-rainy grids in winter. Notably, despite the fact that CHIRPS is not better than IMERG for many examined features, CHIRPS can depict the temporal variation in precipitation over Taiwan on annual, seasonal, and interannual timescales with 95% significance. This highlights the potential use of CHIRPS in studying the multiple timescale variation in precipitation over Taiwan during the years 1981–2000, for which there are no data available in the IMERG database.
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