Featured Articles Archive

  • Another Pineapple Express Brings More Rain, Flooding to California
    The West Coast is once again feeling the effects of the "Pineapple Express". Back in early January one of these "atmospheric river" events, which taps into tropical moisture from as far away as the Hawaiian Islands, brought heavy rains from Washington and Oregon all the way down to southern California. This second time around, many of those same areas were hit again. The current rains are a result of 3 separate surges of moisture impacting the the West Coast. The first such surge in this current event began impacting the Pacific coastal regions of Washington, Oregon, and northern California...
  • Atmospheric River Slams California
    After more than four years of drought, Californians may wonder where the current rain is coming from. Using satellites, NASA scientists have a unique view of the sources of precipitation, and how it reaches the western United States. Rain is often carried by narrow tendrils of moisture called atmospheric rivers that occur all over the world, shown here in white. The atmospheric rivers that affect the western United States are known as the Pineapple Express because they transport water vapor from as far south as Hawaii to California. When the moisture reaches land, it is forced up over the...
  • GPM Sees Hurricane Matthew Nearing Florida
    UPDATE 10/6/16:  NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite flew over Hurricane Matthew several times as the category 4 storm headed toward Florida. The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure – and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions.
  • GPM Provides a Closer Look at the Louisiana Floods
    Twice on August 12, 2016 GPM flew over a massive rainstorm that flooded large portions of Louisiana. The flooding was some of the worst ever in the state, resulting in a state of emergency. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in the wake of this unprecedented event. Throughout the course of August 12 (UTC) GPM captured the internal structure of the storm twice and GPM IMERG measured the rainfall accumulation on the ground. NASA's GPM satellite is designed to measure rainfall using both passive microwave (GMI) and radar (DPR) instruments. DPR can observe 3D...
  • NASA Sees Hermine's Twin Towers
    In order for Hermine or any other tropical depression, to intensify there must be a pathway for heat energy from the ocean surface to enter the atmosphere. For Hermine, the conduit may have been one of the two "hot towers" that the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite observed on Aug. 31 at 4:09 p.m. EDT (2009 UTC).
  • TRMM wins the 2016 Group Pecora Award
    The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that make outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The award is sponsored jointly by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of Dr. William T. Pecora, former Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and Under Secretary, Department of the Interior. Dr. Pecora was a motivating force behind the establishment of a program for civil remote sensing of the Earth from...
  • http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88319
    As farmers in Nepal prepare for the benefits of monsoon season, Dalia Kirschbaum anticipates the dangers of those torrential rains—mainly, the loosening of earth on steep slopes that can lead to landslides. Kirschbaum oversees a team of researchers designing an automated system to identify potential landslides that might otherwise go undetected and unreported. The computer program scans satellite imagery for signs that a landslide may have occurred recently. The Sudden Landslide Identification Product (SLIP) combs through Earth imagery and analyzes consecutive images of the same location...
  • Monsoons: Wet, Dry, Repeat
    The monsoon is a seasonal rain and wind pattern that occurs over South Asia (among other places). Through NASA satellites and models we can see the monsoon patterns like never before.  Monsoon rains provide important reservoirs of water that sustain human activities like agriculture and supports the natural environment through replenishment of aquifers. However, too much rainfall routinely causes disasters in the region, including flooding of the major rivers and landslides in areas of steep topography.

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