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Did you know that knowing the size of raindrops in clouds can help meteorologists more accurately predict rainfall? A new joint American and Japanese mission promises to help scientists make even more accurate predictions based on the size of the raindrops in clouds. This next video is a great overview of the mission:
According to NASA’s Goddard Media Studios blog post titled “GMS: Why Do Raindrop Sizes Matter In Storms?”:
Not all raindrops are created equal. The size of falling raindrops depends on several factors, including where the cloud producing the drops is located on the globe and where the drops originate in the cloud. For the first time, scientists have three-dimensional snapshots of raindrops and snowflakes around the world from space, thanks to the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. With the new global data on raindrop and snowflake sizes this mission provides, scientists can improve rainfall estimates from satellite data and in numerical weather forecast models, helping us better understand and prepare for extreme weather events.
If you are curious about the spacecraft that is conducting this amazing survey work, here is a helpful explanatory diagram:
Here is a great video that explains how the size of raindrops can help better understand storm behaviour:
This is a fascinating mission. I didn’t realise just how much storm prediction can be improved by understanding how big raindrops are.