NASA Satellites Show Rain In Detail Like Never Before

By Brian Kahn

Few things on our planet connect us like precipitation. The storm that drops snow in the mountains of Tennessee one day can bring rain to the plains of Spain a week later.

Yet there hasn't been a way to effectively monitor all the precipitation across the globe at once, let alone create a vertical profile from the clouds to the ground. All that changed last year, though, when NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the last piece of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a constellation of at least 12 satellites that give an unprecedented view of global precipitation available in near real time. And on Thursday, NASA released its first map produced by those satellites.


NASA's Earth Observatory (CC BY 2.0)