Your local weather forecaster uses Doppler radar systems, covering U.S. regions, to estimate rainfall and flooding, but NASA research satellites can see rainfall worldwide.
Data from NASAs Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)satellite, along with information from other satellites, allows researchers to see how much rain is falling over most of the world every three hours. This capability enables scientists to daily map areas of potential flooding.
These maps, available to the public on the Internet, will help water resource managers and scientists around the world by providing near-real time data of rainfall and flood potential. TRMM is considered a unique "rain gauge in the sky," because its instruments can look into clouds to determine rainfall, while other satellites can only see flooded areas after floods have occurred.
Krishna Ramanujan | Goddard Space Flight Center
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