The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, launched on Feb. 27, 2015, from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, will help advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend current capabilities of using satellite precipitation information to directly benefit society.
On a Wednesday afternoon in June, a severe storm outbreak spawned huge thunderstorms across Iowa and western Illinois. NASA's Polarimetric precipitation radar was in place to scan the storms as they swept through the region.
"It's unbelievable out here," Walt Petersen of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia wrote in an email dispatch from Traer, Iowa. There, two NASA radars were stationed as part of the Iowa Flood Studies field campaign, which Petersen led, for the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission.