Point rainfall statistics for ecohydrological analyses derived from satellite integrated rainfall measurements
Satellite rainfall measurements, nowadays commonly available, provide valuable information about the spatial structure of rainfall. In areas with low-density rain gage networks, or where these networks are nonexistent, satellite rainfall measurements can also provide useful estimates to be used as virtual rain gages. However, satellite and rain gage measurements are statistically different in nature and cannot be directly compared to one another. In the present paper, we develop a methodology to downscale satellite rainfall measurements to generate rain-gage-equivalent statistics. We apply the methodology to four locations along a strong rainfall gradient in the Kalahari transect, southern Africa, to validate the methodology. We show that the method allows the estimation of point rainfall statistics where only satellite measurements exist. Point rainfall statistics are key descriptors for ecohydrologic studies linking the response of vegetation to rainfall dynamics.