"In meteorology, precipitation (also known as hydrometeor) is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that is deposited on the earth's surface. It occurs when the atmosphere (being a large gaseous solution) becomes saturated with water vapors and the water condenses and falls out of solution (i.e., precipitates) Air becomes saturated via two processes, Cooling and Adding Moisture. Precipitation that reaches the surface of the earth can occur in many different forms, including rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet, and hail." (European Environmental Agency, 2019)


European Environmental Agency. "Water glossary". Accessed March 2, 2019. Available at:

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Space technologies for drought monitoring and management

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Global Precipitation Mission: Improved, accurate and timely global precipitation information

Continuous and reliable global precipitation information is crucial for myriad of weather, climate and hydrological applications. The importance of precipitation in the form of rain, hail, sleet, snow etc. is known to science and clear to a layman. However, it’s quite tricky to measure past precipitation trends or predicting accurate future forecasts. There are three main categories of precipitation data sets available: ground based, satellite-based and blended products of ground and space data (Climate Data Guide, 2014).

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It is well recognized that long-term precipitation measurements are necessary for understanding and monitoring regional precipitation characteristics. This includes characteristics crucial for monitoring water resources and hazards, like floods and droughts. TRMM was the first NASA mission dedicated to observing precipitation. It operated from November 1997 to April 2015. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission launched in February 2014 as a follow-on to TRMM.

ARSET - Water Resource Management Using NASA Earth Science Data Capacity Building and Training Material

ARSET - Water Resource Management Using NASA Earth Science Data


This online course covers precipitation (rainfall and snow fraction), soil moisture, evapotranspiration, runoff and streamflow, groundwater, and lake level heights. Participants are introduced to a number of NASA data products.


Participants will be able to use NASA remote sensing observations and land-atmosphere models to: 

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The 21st century is often called "the century of water." Water is an essential element of the Earth's environment and is indispensable for our life and economic activities. Many places in the world now face water problems, such as water shortages and floods, which can cause food shortages, epidemic diseases, and so on. In addition to these problems, global warming and climate change affect the global water cycle and result in abnormal weather, such as frequent heavy rains and droughts.