US: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA have released the first images from their new Earth-observing satellite, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. Launched on February 27, 2014, the new mission will study rain and snow from the tropics to the southern edge of the polar regions. GPM also will anchor an international network of satellites that can make global precipitation observations roughly every three hours.
The image above comes from the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and shows precipitation across a broad swath of the atmosphere. The colors depict the rain rate; red areas indicate heavy rainfall, while yellow and blue indicate less intense rainfall. The blue areas in the upper left indicate falling snow. GPM has the first satellite sensors specifically designed to measure falling snow and light rainfall.