First GPM Satellite Visualizations Support Earth SySTEM

WOW! If you are not amazed by this GPM Data Visualization loop, you should be!


Earth SySTEM is an approach to STEM Education that utilizes the current and future technological infrastructure of satellite imagery, remote sensing, and computer visualizations, and data archives in the study of Earth as a System.  

So the question becomes, besides being pretty pictures, what else can students do with these types of satellite images, remote sensing and computer visualizations? There are many investigations that you can engage in from this data set. In today’s blog I will provide a quick demonstration of how and where other imagery and data can be found where students can examine past significant weather events.

To begin, go to the website identified above. Watch the entire loop. Replay the GPM model paying particular attention to the time sequencing beginning around April 10, 2014. As the image progresses, look at rainfall amounts as the severe storms that “pop-up” on the 12th. The severe storms can be viewed on the Doppler radar loop on the La Crosse, WI National Weather Service Forecast Office site given below.

Report from the NWSFO La Crosse, WI

“Strong to severe thunderstorms hit much of the area on Saturday April 12th with rounds of large hail and heavy rain. Storms started in the morning hours near Interstate 90 in southeast Minnesota into western Wisconsin, but a second round of severe thunderstorms developed by midafternoon that lasted well into the evening for northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin. While much of the hail was smaller than dimes, there were occasionally reports of hail from quarter to golf ball size. There were also rainfall reports that exceeded 2 inches leading to localized flooding. There were 2 Severe Thunderstorms Watches and 29 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued.” (April 12, 2014)

Now copy and paste the link below into your browser to view Doppler radar looped imagery, hail reports, and rainfall amounts.


A Terra Satellite Image which provides cloud imagery can be retrieved from the Cooperative Institute from the Metrological Satellite Studies (CIMMS) at the University of Wisconsin Madison. ( This image can be used as a Google Earth layer as well. By the way, this is a great site for obtaining real time satellite data.