NASA / JAXA - Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) logo.
July 31, 2015
The United States has seen a tale of two extremes this year, with drenching rains in the eastern half of the country and persistent drought in the west. A new visualization of rainfall data collected from space shows the stark contrast between east and west for the first half of 2015.
Rainfall Accumulation Across the United States (1/1/2015 - 7/16/2015)
Video above: The accumulated precipitation product visualized here begins on Jan. 1, 2015, and runs through July 16, 2015. This visualization shows the heavy rainfall throughout Northern Texas and across Oklahoma as well as the drought in Southern California. Video Credits: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio.
The precipitation data shown here, from Jan. 1 through July 16, is from the joint NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Global Precipitation Measurement mission. Accumulated rain totals are shown in different colors: 0 to 1 inch is light blue, up to 12 inches is green, up to 20 inches is yellow, and up to 40 inches is red. Purple shows an up to 76 inches in southern Louisiana, central Illinois, and a swath of Texas and Oklahoma that all saw severe flooding associated with heavy rainfall this spring and summer.
From the Rockies westward, rainfall has been much sparser over the last six months. California and the southwest received little relief from their punishing drought. The Pacific northwest has received below average rainfall and not enough snowfall which they, like California, rely on for part of their water supply.
Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite. Image Credits: NASA/JAXA
The GPM mission's Core Observatory satellite launched February 2014, and unites precipitation data from an international network of 12 satellites into a single dataset. The result is NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM, or IMERG, data product, which seamlessly shows rain and snowfall across world in 30-minute timesteps.
For more information about GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GPM/main/index.html
Download the full data visualization from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4337
To learn more about NASA's GPM Mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/gpm
JAXA - GPM/DPR: http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/gpm/
A Tale of Two Extremes: Droughts and Floods Visualizations: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11966
California "Rain Debt" Equal to Average Full Year of Precipitation: http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/california-rain-debt-equal-to-average-full-year-of-precipitation
NASA's Precipitation Measurement Missions website: http://pmm.nasa.gov/
Image (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Earth Science News Team/Ellen Gray/Rob Garner.