Painting the World with Water (New Colorbar)

  • Released Thursday, October 1, 2015
  • Updated Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:36PM
  • ID: 4369

The ten currently-flying satellites in the Global Precipitation Measurement Constellation provide unprecedented information about the rain and snow across the entire Earth. This visualization shows the constellation in action, taking precipitation measurements underneath the satellite orbits. As time progresses and the Earth's surface is covered with measurements, the structure of the Earth's preciptation becomes clearer, from the constant rainfall patterns along the Equator to the storm fronts in the mid-latitudes. The dynamic nature of the precipitation is revealed as time speeds up and the satellite data swaths merge into a continuous visualization of changing rain and snowfall. Finally, the video fades into an visualization of IMERG, the newly available data set of global precipitation every thirty minutes that is derived from this satellite data.

This is a newer version of the animation and uses a modified version of the Liquid Precipitation Rate colorbar. This newer colorbar improves the display of higher rain rates.
The colorbar for liquid precipitation (rain).

The colorbar for liquid precipitation (rain).

The colorbar for frozen precipitation (snow).

The colorbar for frozen precipitation (snow).


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

GPM Rain Rates (A.K.A. Surface Precipitation) (Collected with the GMI sensor)

Credit: Data provided by the joint NASA/JAXA GPM mission.

See more visualizations using this data set

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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