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.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0