GPM Applications: Weather

Using GPM Data for Weather, Climate, and Land Surface Modeling

Using GPM Data for Weather, Climate, and Land Surface Modeling

Variations in rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation are an integral part in everyday weather and long term climate trends. Initialization of short-term weather and long-term climate models with accurate precipitation information enhances their prediction skills and extends their skillful lead times. To get the resolution and temporal coverage to measure precipitation across the globe, we often rely on satellite information. Satellite data can play a fundamental role in our ability to monitor and predict weather systems as well as to forecast future changes to our climate and land surface. Satellite data from GPM’s suite of precipitation products are integrated into numerical weather prediction models that are operated by operational partners to provide and improve the observations from which the forecasts are then generated. Similarly, climate and land surface models use satellite precipitation observations from GPM to describe the conditions that exist today in order to project how conditions may change in the future. The Weather, Climate, and Land Surface Modeling applications area promotes the use of GPM data to help monitor existing weather activity and model future behavior of precipitation patterns and climate.

Overview

Variations in rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation are an integral part in everyday weather and long term climate trends. Initialization of short-term weather and long-term climate models with accurate precipitation information enhances their prediction skills and extends their skillful lead times. To get the resolution and temporal coverage to measure precipitation across the globe, we often rely on satellite information. Satellite data can play a fundamental role in our ability to monitor and predict weather systems as well as to forecast future changes to our climate and land surface. Satellite data from GPM’s suite of precipitation products are integrated into numerical weather prediction models that are operated by operational partners to provide and improve the observations from which the forecasts are then generated. Similarly, climate and land surface models use satellite precipitation observations from GPM to describe the conditions that exist today in order to project how conditions may change in the future. The Weather, Climate, and Land Surface Modeling applications area promotes the use of GPM data to help monitor existing weather activity and model future behavior of precipitation patterns and climate.

Sections

GPM Data for Decision Making

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NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issues extended range outlook maps for 6-10 days in the future. The above figure shows a 6-10 forecast of precipitation probability for the first week of October 2018. This product complements short-range weather forecasts issued by other components of the National Weather Service. Credit: NOAA/NCEP/CPC
 

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is the use of computer models to predict upcoming weather. Specifically, NWP centers rely on microwave-based satellite rainfall information, such as data retrieved from GPM’s GMI, to improve short- to long-term weather forecasts and correct track forecasts for tropical cyclones. In addition, NWP centers create precipitation products for “nowcasting” weather in the immediate 1-5 hours (e.g. using near-real-time rainfall data from GPM) to meet the needs of a wider user community, including weather forecasters, hydrologists, farmers, numerical modelers, the military and the climate community. Methods for integrating rainfall data are constantly evolving and advancing, and with GPM’s advanced instruments, scientists can influence and enhance their scientific research and benefit socioeconomic activities.

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European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Seasonal Forecast of precipitation probability. Percent probability is determined by using the predictive anomaly relative to 24 years of observed precipitation from 1993-2016. Credit: European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast
 

To understand the changing climate and make future climate predictions, scientists need to use sophisticated computer models to recreate Earth’s climate conditions. Understanding current rainfall and snowfall variability, among other climate factors on regional and global scales, helps scientists model future behavior of precipitation patterns and climate. But for a system as complicated as the Earth, the models are only as good as the data provided. Satellite precipitation measurements from GPM and its predecessor TRMM provide global scale observational data sets that are comprehensive and consistent over long time periods, two characteristics scientists need to understand the relationships between different parts of the climate system. Specifically, organizations use GPM and TRMM data as input to verify and validate their seasonal and climate model simulations. The ultimate goal is to be able to predict changes in climate on time scales as short as the next hurricane season and as far into the future as changes that may occur in the coming decades or centuries. 

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Climate change may lead to an increase in temperatures and a decrease in snowpack within the Absaroka Range, found at the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. Credit: National Park Service/Neal Herbert
 

Precipitation is the fundamental driver of land surface hydrological processes and a key component of the terrestrial water cycle, which in turn affects the functioning of atmospheric and climate processes. High-resolution modeling of land surface hydrological processes requires detailed rainfall estimates as inputs to improve understanding of the state of the water cycle and impacts on land-surface processes during extreme events. Satellite precipitation data from GPM is integrated into land surface models to study surface features and how they change due to manmade and natural conditions such as urbanization and erosion. The use of GPM precipitation data together with other satellite data including soil moisture within land surface models will improve weather and hydrological prediction, which will help city planners and even decision makers save lives. 

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IMERG Measures Record Rainfall From Hurricane Delores Remnants

Moisture pumping into southern California and the Desert Southwest from the remnants of hurricane Dolores has caused record July rainfall. This rainfall may provide some drought relief to the state of California that has been in the grip of exceptional drought conditions. Heavy flooding caused an interstate 10 bridge collapse on Sunday July 19, 2015 forcing closure of this main roadway between Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona. Data from NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) were used to estimate the extreme amount of rain that fell during the past week in that

Weaker Typhoon Nangka Threatens Japan

Typhoon Nangka was a super typhoon with winds of 135 kts (155 mph) over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean last week. Nangka is predicted by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) to have weakened to barely typhoon intensity with winds of less than 65 kts ( 75 mph) before hitting Japan on July 16, 2015. The GPM core observatory satellite passed above early in the life of the typhoon on July 6, 2015 when Nangka was east-southeast of Guam. At that time Nangka had formed a nearly perfectly circular eye that contained powerful storms reaching to altitudes of close to 17km (10.5 miles). GPM flew

GPM Looks At Tropical Storm Claudette

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued it's first advisory for tropical storm Claudette on Monday July 13, 2015 at 1PM AST. The GPM core observatory satellite had an outstanding view as it flew above tropical storm Claudette on the early evening of July 13, 2015 at 2046 UTC (4:46 PM EDT). Rainfall measurements were made by GPM’s Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments. Claudette is a relatively small tropical storm with vertical wind shear dampening future development but GPM found heavy rainfall in some strong thunderstorms. GPM's radar instrument

NASA Sees Heavy Rainfall in Tropical Storm Halola

The GPM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Halola in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and found heaviest rainfall occurring north of the center of circulation. Halola formed in the Central Pacific Ocean and moved into the Northwestern Pacific Ocean basin today, July 13. On July 13 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Tropical Storm Halola had maximum sustained winds near 60 knots (69 mph/111.1 kph). It was located near 14.5 North and 177.0 East, about 694 nautical miles (798 miles/1,285 km) east-southeast of Wake Island. Halola has tracked west-northwestward at 11 knots (12.6 mph/20.3 kph). The Global

Tropical Storm Ela To Pass Near Hawaiian Islands

A tropical storm called Ela formed east-southeast of the Hawaiian Islands on July 8, 2015 and is expected to pass to the north of the island chain this weekend. GPM had a good view of Ela as the satellite flew over the forming tropical storm on July 8, 2015 at 1316 UTC (3:16 AM HST). The satellite passed above Ela again on July 9, 2015 at 0234 UTC (July 8, 2015 4:34 PM HST) showing that rainfall bands associated with the tropical cyclone were better organized. GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments found today that rainfall was falling at a rate

The most detailed view of our daily weather has been created using NASA's newest extended precipitation record known as the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM, or IMERG analysis. The IMERG analysis combines almost 20 years of rain and snow data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the joint NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM). The daily cycle of weather, also known as the diurnal cycle, shapes how and when our weather develops and is fundamental to regulating our climate.

Music Credits: "Battle For Our Future" and "Wonderful Orbit" by Tom...

NASA engineer Manuel Vega can see one of the Olympic ski jump towers from the rooftop of the South Korean weather office where he is stationed. Vega is not watching skiers take flight, preparing for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic games. Instead, he’s inspecting the SUV-sized radar beside him. The instrument is one 11 NASA instruments specially transported to the Olympics to measure the quantity and type of snow falling on the slopes, tracks and halfpipes. NASA will make these observations as one of 20 agencies from eleven countries in the Republic of Korea as participants...

NASA researchers now can use a combination of satellite observations to re-create multi-dimensional pictures of hurricanes and other major storms in order to study complex atmospheric interactions. In this video, they applied those techniques to Hurricane Matthew. When it occurred in the fall of 2016, Matthew was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in almost ten years. Its torrential rains and winds caused significant damage and loss of life as it coursed through the Caribbean and up along the southern U.S. coast. 

Music: "Buoys," Donn Wilkerson, Killer Tracks; "Late Night Drive," Donn...

NASA scientists can measure the size and shape distribution of snow particles, layer by layer, in a storm. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission is an international satellite project that provides next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours.

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Satellite captured a 3-D image of a winter storm on February 17, 2015, that left six to 12 inches of snow over much of Kentucky, southwestern West Virginia, and northwestern North Carolina. The shades of blue in the 3-D image indicate rates of snowfall with more intense snowfall shown in darker blue. Underneath where it melts into rain, the most intense rainfall is shown in red. You can see a lot of variation in precipitation types over the southeastern portion of the United States.

The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the...

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