NASA’s newest satellite ushers in the future of tracking global precipitation.
Caught outside during a severe storm? Maybe next time you won’t have to be thanks to the latest addition to NASA’s Earth-observing satellite fleet. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory launched into space on February 27, 2014. The satellite is equipped with two instruments designed to scan our planet's atmosphere and generate 3D maps of rainfall and snowfall. Such measurements are part of an international effort led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to improve space-based monitoring of precipitation, with the goal of creating global precipitation data sets that are updated every three hours. Knowing how much rain and snow falls worldwide every few hours will help scientists predict extreme weather events. Watch the video to learn more.