NASA On Air: NASA Measures Rain Drop Size From GPM Satellite (5/19/2016)

  • Released Thursday, May 19, 2016

LEAD: NASA's latest precipitation satellite, the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, is measuring the size and distribution of raindrops in storms around the world.

1. A dual-frequency precipitation radar and a microwave imager scan storm clouds from the GPM satellite, 250 miles above the earth.

2. The smallest rain droplets, indicated here in blue, are about half a millimeter in diameter, or two one-hundredths of an inch across. The updrafts in clouds blow these lightweight drops to the upper regions of the storm clouds.

3. The heavier large rain droplets, indicated here in orange, fall to the lower regions of the clouds.These droplets are about 5 millimeters or about 3/16 inches in diameter.

TAG: The raindrop size and distribution is one of many factors that determine how much rain a storm will produce.


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

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:48 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions: