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Babak Mohammadi

Doctoral student

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Evaluation of the RF-MEP Method for Merging Multiple Gridded Precipitation Products in the Chongqing City, China


  • Yongming Shi
  • Cheng Chen
  • Jun Chen
  • Babak Mohammadi
  • Majid Cheraghalizadeh
  • Mohammed Abdallah
  • Okan Mert Katipoğlu
  • Haotian Li
  • Zheng Duan

Summary, in English

Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle. Accurate and reliable estimation of precipitation is essential for various applications. Generally, there are three main types of precipitation products: satellite based, reanalysis, and ground measurements from rain gauge stations. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Recent efforts have been made to develop various merging methods to improve precipitation estimates by combining multiple precipitation products. This study evaluated for the first time the performance of the random forest-based merging procedure (RF-MEP) method in enhancing the accuracy of daily precipitation estimates in Chongqing city, China with a complex terrain and sparse observational data. The RF-MEP method was used to merge three widely used gridded precipitation products (CHIRPS, ERA5-Land, and GPM IMERG) with ground measurements from a limited number of rain gauge stations to produce the merged precipitation dataset. Eight stations (approximately 70% of the available stations) were used to train the RF-MEP approach, while four stations (30%) were used for independent testing. Various statistical metrics were employed to assess the performance of the merged precipitation dataset and the three existing precipitation products against the ground measurements. Our results demonstrated that the RF-MEP approach significantly enhances the accuracy of daily precipitation estimates, surpassing the performance of the individual precipitation products and two other merging methods (the simple linear regression model and the simple averaging). Among the three existing products, ERA5-Land exhibited the best performance in capturing daily precipitation, followed by GPM IMERG, while CHIRPS performed the worst. Regarding precipitation intensity, all three existing products and the RF-MEP merged dataset performed well in capturing light precipitation events with an intensity of less than 1 mm/day, which accounts for the majority (more than 70%) of occurrences. However, all datasets showed rather poor capability in capturing precipitation events beyond 1 mm/day, with the worst performance observed for extreme heavy precipitation events exceeding 50 mm/day. The RF-MEP approach significantly improves the detection ability for all precipitation intensities, except for the most extreme intensity (>50 mm/day), where only marginal improvement is observed. Analysis of the spatial pattern of precipitation estimates and the temporal bias of daily precipitation estimates further confirms the superior performance of the RF-MEP merged precipitation dataset over the three existing products.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year





Remote Sensing





Document type

Journal article




  • Remote Sensing
  • Water Engineering
  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


  • merge
  • precipitation
  • rainfall intensity
  • random forest
  • reanalysis products
  • satellite products




  • ISSN: 2072-4292