Scientists combine satellite observations of Earth into a new view of precipitation.
Rain, snow, hail, ice, and every mix in between make up the precipitation that touches everyone on our planet. But precipitation doesn't fall equally in all places around the world, and fast moving storm systems can make capturing precipitation difficult for a single satellite from space. To get the full precipitation picture, you need multiple satellites working together. In 2014 NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, with the aim of creating the most comprehensive near-global precipitation maps to date. The mission combines data from 12 satellites to provide rain and snowfall rates for the entire world every thirty minutes. Using the global precipitation dataset, scientists can calculate the amount of accumulated rainfall for any region over a period of time, which is essential for understanding coming weather and storms as well as long-term shifts due to climate change. Watch the video to see global data from July 25 to September 30, 2014, paint precipitation's path around our planet.