To better understand storms, NASA measures raindrop sizes from space.
Raindrop size matters—in order to accurately know how much precipitation is falling in a storm, scientists need to understand the ratio of large drops to smaller or medium-sized drops. The size of falling raindrops depends on several factors, including where the cloud producing the drops is located on the globe and where the drops originate in the cloud. Now, thanks to the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, scientists have three-dimensional snapshots of precipitation around the world from space. With this new view, scientists can improve rainfall estimates from satellite data and in numerical weather forecast models, helping us better understand and prepare for extreme weather events. Watch the video to learn more.