A Week in the Life of Rain

  • Released Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rain, snow, hail, ice, and every slushy mix in between make up the precipitation that touches everyone on our planet. But not all places rain equally. Precipitation falls differently in different parts of the world, as you see in NASA's new video that captures every shower, every snow storm and every hurricane from August 4 to August 14, 2014.

The GPM Core Observatory, co-led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was launched on Feb 27, 2014, and provides advanced instruments that can see rain and falling snow all the way through the atmosphere. This Core Observatory serves as the reference standard to unite preciptiation observations from a dozen satellites, which together produce the most detailed world-wide view of everything from light rain to heavy rain and, for the first time, falling snow.

Scientists merged data from 12 precipitation satellites into a single seamless map called the Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), or IMERG. Every 30 minutes, IMERG generates a new global map with a resolution of 10 kilometers by 10 km (6.2 miles by 6.2 mi), about the size of a small suburb. These comprehensive maps allow scientists to observe changes in precipitation patterns across 87 percent of the globe and through time.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:49 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • RainDay (ID: 2015020)
    Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 4:00AM