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.

Read the rest of the article on the NASA Goddard news page, or watch the informative (and beautifully done, I think) video below:

More Blog Entries

This video does a great job in showing not only how we are able to measure the sizes of raindrops- but also why it actually matters and helps us measure precipitation.
This video excellently fits into my remote sensing meteorological measurements curriculum, so thank you Kristen!