Estimating daily minimum, maximum, and mean near surface air temperature using hybrid satellite models across Israel

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Abstract

Meteorological stations measure air temperature (Ta) accurately with high temporal resolution, but usually suffer from limited spatial resolution due to their sparse distribution across rural, undeveloped or less populated areas. Remote sensing satellite-based measurements provide daily surface temperature (Ts) data in high spatial and temporal resolution and can improve the estimation of daily Ta. In this study we developed spatiotemporally resolved models which allow us to predict three daily parameters: Ta Max (day time), 24 h mean, and Ta Min (night time) on a fine 1 km grid across the state of Israel. We used and compared both the Aqua and Terra MODIS satellites. We used linear mixed effect models, IDW (inverse distance weighted) interpolations and thin plate splines (using a smooth nonparametric function of longitude and latitude) to first calibrate between Ts and Ta in those locations where we have available data for both and used that calibration to fill in neighboring cells without surface monitors or missing Ts. Out-of-sample ten-fold cross validation (CV) was used to quantify the accuracy of our predictions. Our model performance was excellent for both days with and without available Ts observations for both Aqua and Terra (CV Aqua R2 results for min 0.966, mean 0.986, and max 0.967; CV Terra R2 results for min 0.965, mean 0.987, and max 0.968). Our research shows that daily min, mean and max Ta can be reliably predicted using daily MODIS Ts data even across Israel, with high accuracy even for days without Ta or Ts data. These predictions can be used as three separate Ta exposures in epidemiology studies for better diurnal exposure assessment.

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