Scientists use data from satellites to study weather phenomena. When thundersnow recently hit the Deep South, the snowstorm provided an excellent opportunity for atmospheric scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to take detailed measurements of precipitation. They used those observations as a type of database or model to simulate what the constellation of Global Precipitation Measurement satellites would see from space. By combining the observations at the ground with those of the polarimetric radar, scientists expect to learn a great deal about the processes responsible for creating the snowfall. From space, they can measure the water content of the snow and the rate at which that snow-water equivalent accumulates on the ground more accurately.
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