At the time of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory overpass (April 1, 2017, 0550 UTC), the storm's center of low pressure was south of Long Island. At the mid-levels of the atmosphere, the circulation was centered over northeast Pennsylvania. This led to a classic overrunning, warm conveyor setup, which happened when the counterclockwise low level flow drew in cold air out of the north/northeast (hence "Nor'easter") from Canada.
The mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the Hawaiian Islands have recently received heavy snowfall. Hawaii's balmy temperatures normally reach above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 C) at sea level on beaches such as Oahu's Waikiki but temperatures fall below freezing at the altitudes of tall mountain peaks on the Big Island. At 13,802 feet (4.2 km) Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest mountain. Snowfall is frequently seen on Mauna Kea's peak.
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission has produced its first global map of rainfall and snowfall.
Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM data product, called IMERG, which combines all of these data from 12 satellites into a single, seamless map.
Summer intern Jorel Torres, a graduate student from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, talks about snow research and the value of hard work, persistence, and passion.
Snow awes and annoys, brings nostalgia or abhorrence. For Jorel Torres, snow makes him curious—so much that he studies it.
For six weeks in Ontario, Canada, scientists and engineers lead a field campaign to study the science and mechanics of falling snow. The datasets retrieved will be used to generate algorithms which translate what the GPM Core satellite "sees" into precipitation rates, including that of falling snow. Ground validation science manager Walt Petersen gives a summary of the GCPEx field campaign. Field campaigns are critical in improving satellite observations and precipitation measurements.