NASA and two Japanese government agencies are collaborating on a snowfall study over Wakasa Bay, Japan. Using NASAs Earth Observing System Aqua satellite, research aircraft and coastal radars to gather data, the joint effort is expanding scientific knowledge about where precipitation falls.
Until now, the north Pacifics contributions to the global hydrologic cycle have been difficult to quantify. Precipitation measurements by satellite over open water are very important, because there are very few other ways to obtain the data. Snowfall is particularly difficult to measure from space even over the relatively uniform background of the ocean. New satellite instruments, that can detect precipitation over water, will give scientists data to help interpret how the hydrology of the Pacific Ocean impacts the U.S. and the world.
The Wakasa Bay Field Campaign is a combined research effort among NASA, the National Space Agency of Japan (NASDA), and the Japanese Meteorological Research Institute (MRI). The campaign began January 3 and runs through February 14.
Rob Gutro | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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