GPM Applications

  • Released Monday, August 27th, 2012
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:52PM

Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Knowing where and how much rain and snow falls globally is vital to understanding how weather and climate impact both our environment and Earth's water and energy cycles, including effects on agriculture, fresh water availability, and responses to natural disasters. Since rainfall and snowfall vary greatly from place to place and over time, satellites can provide more uniform observations of rain and snow around the globe than ground instruments, especially in areas where surface measurements are difficult. GPM's next-generation global precipitation data will lead to scientific advances and societal benefits in the following areas:

Improved knowledge of the Earth's water cycle and its link to climate change

New insights into precipitation microphysics, storm structures and large-scale atmospheric processes

Better understanding of climate sensitivity and feedback processes

Extended capabilities in monitoring and predicting hurricanes and other extreme weather events

Improved forecasting capabilities for natural hazards, including floods, droughts and landslides.

Enhanced numerical prediction skills for weather and climate

Better agricultural crop forecasting and monitoring of freshwater resources.

For more information and resources please visit the Precipitation Measurement Missions web site.

Tropical Cyclones

On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont, causing widespread damage and the worst flooding in 75 years. Irene's impact in New England shows that tropical cyclones can greatly affect regions outside the view of TRMM. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission will build upon TRMM's legacy by examining a larger swath of Earth with more sensitive instruments.

For complete transcript, click here.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • GPM Applications: Cyclone Tracking (ID: 2012087)
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 4:00AM
  • GPM Applications: Too Much, Too Little (ID: 2012096)
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:00AM