1. Gail Skofronick-Jackson

Understanding how much snow is falling is important for many different areas, including transportation, safety, how much fresh water falls and is stored in snowpacks and is used later for fresh water resources.


2. Walt Petersen

The aircraft provide us with direct measurements of particle types and sizes as the aircraft is flying through the cloud because they are actually looking at the individual precipitation particles with probes on the airplanes. And we can relate those measurements with what we see with radar on the ground. And that helps us interpret everything about that column of water that satellites are going to be looking at.


3. Gail Skofronick-Jackson

Measuring precipitation globally is important because it provides a complete picture of the global water cycle. GPM is going to be able to do that. But is also going to be able to provide the local regional scale so we can get better information for on coming droughts, potential landslides, potential floods.




1. Walt Petersen

The science benefit is that we’re going to make these great accurate measurements of precipitation. Essentially GPM is going to track water that exists in the reservoir in the sky to the reservoir in the grounds. That enables us to basically monitor the water resource as it originates in the atmosphere and falls to the ground. That’s a very important scientific thing to be able to do because that information is used in all different types of applications… weather forecasting, climate studies. From a scientific perspective, making those measurements frequently and accurately is really important.


2. Gail Skofronick-Jackson

The GPM Core with its ability to detect falling snow, it’s one of the very first times we’ve put sensors in space to specifically look at falling snow. We’re at that edge that rain was 50 years ago. So we’re still figuring out how to measure snow. Snow is much more difficult than rain. Rain tends to be spherical like drops, but if you’ve ever been out in a snowfall event and you’ve looked at your shirt, you see that snow comes in all different forms. And the sensors in space are actually sensitive to those shapes, and we’re still trying to figure out all of that. And the GPM core with its additional frequencies and information on the sensors is going to be able to provide us for the first time a lot more information about falling snow.