To investigate processes related to the interaction of topography and precipitation, a tropics-wide (±36° latitude) high resolution (0.1°) ten year (1998-2007) rainfall climatology is presented from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) using algorithm 2A25 version 6 near-surface rain. We observe a tight coupling between precipitation and topography with distinct precipitation-topography relationships present in northwest South America and South Asia. An error model is developed by subsampling the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis as sampled by the PR. The error model predicts observed sampling error as a function of resolution, rain rate and sampling frequency with an r2 of 0.82. This error model indicates that the precipitation climatology at 0.1° resolution does resolve precipitation gradients in regions with large average daily rain totals including die Andes. Western Ghats, and Himalaya.