NASA’s Remotely-sensed Precipitation: A Reservoir for Applications Users

Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society | Kirschbaum et al. [2016]


NASA’s Precipitation Measurement (PMM) Missions provide critical precipitation information to end users that helps to improve understanding of the Earth’s water cycle and to enhance decision-making at local to global scales.

Precipitation is the fundamental source of freshwater in the water cycle. It is critical for everyone, from subsistence farmers in Africa to weather forecasters around the world, to know when, where and how much rain and snow is falling. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory spacecraft, launched in February, 2014, has the most advanced instruments to measure precipitation from space and together with other satellite information provides high quality merged data on rain and snow worldwide every thirty minutes. Data from GPM and the predecessor Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) have been fundamental to a broad range of applications and end user groups and are among of the most widely downloaded Earth science data products across NASA. End user applications have rapidly become an integral component in translating satellite data into actionable information and knowledge used to inform policy and enhance decision-making at local to global scales. In this article, we present NASA precipitation data, capabilities, and opportunities from the perspective of end users. We outline some key examples of how TRMM and GPM data are being applied across a broad range of sectors, including numerical weather prediction, disaster modeling, agricultural monitoring, and public health research. This work provides a discussion of some of the current needs of the community as well as future plans to better support end users communities across the globe to utilize this data for their own applications.

Full text can be found here.


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