This data visualization shows the rapid intensification of the snow cyclone over the east coast beginning on January 3rd, 2018. As the snow cyclone moves up the coast, the data visualization freezes on January 4th to show GPM taking it's measurement of the storm at approximately 5:47Z. The camera then moves down closer to the storm as we slice away the volumetric data to get a sense of what the storm structure looks internally, focusing on the transition from rain to snow.
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite flew over the United States east coast during a snow cyclone on January 4, 2018. This storm delivered up to 18 inches of snow in some parts of New England. Areas as far south as Norfolk, Virginia received up to 10 inches. This storm was also accompanied by very high winds, ranging from 50 to 80 miles per hour.
The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure – and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions.
GPM data is part of the toolbox of satellite data used by forecasters and scientists to understand how storms behave. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Current and future data sets are available with free registration to users from NASA Goddard's Precipitation Processing Center website.
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 220.127.116.11.0