Animation depicting a snowstorm over Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. A slicing plane reveals the inside of the storm, showing where the precipitation switches from rain (yellow, green, and red) to snow and ice (light blue and purple). This video is also available on our YouTube channel.
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Satellite captured a 3-D image of a winter storm on Feb. 17 that left six to 12 inches of snow over much of Kentucky, southwestern West Virginia, and northwestern North Carolina. The shades of blue in the 3-D image indicate rates of snowfall with more intense snowfall shown in darker blue. Underneath where it melts into rain, the most intense rainfall is shown in red. You can see a lot of variation in precipitation types over the Southeastern portion of the United States.
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.
Data Used: GOES/IR4
2/15/2015 00:00:00Z - 2/17/2015 02:00:00Z
2/17/2015 01:56:41 - 02:01:39Z
2/17/2015 01:41:28 - 02:11:27Z
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.
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