Weather forecasters and disaster managers want to know how much precipitation has recently fallen in various parts of the world. Rain gauges and ground radars only make observations over land, and individual satellites can see only a small fraction of the earth at a single moment.
To address these issues, NASA Goddard stitches together, in near real-time, the observations from a fleet of satellites that can estimate precipitation. These satellites were built by various countries and are operated by various organizations.
The “core” satellite of this constellation of precipitation-observing satellites is Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM). It was built by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and was launched in February 2014.
NASA distributes the resulting “merged” estimates
in real time and in various file formats.
The merged precipitation estimates displayed by Cesium are stored in NASA Goddard’s Integrated
Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG).
As of the fall of 2016, the GPM science team is making available these IMERG precipitation estimates using the Cesium viewer on the Precipitation Measurement Missions website.
For more information about the Cesium real-time IMERG viewer, please contact the Helpdesk of NASA’s Precipitation Processing System (PPS) at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the IMERG algorithm, please see the the theoretical basis document: IMERG ATBD.