Data application of the month: Accumulated Precipitation
The recent generation of weather observatory satellites, namely Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) constellation satellites, is the lead observatory of the 10 highly advanced earth orbiting weather research satellites
Extreme events like heavy rainfall, storms or hurricane activate landslides. Unstable soil surface conditions can make heavy rains act as the triggering point for mud, rocks and/or debris to move down from mountains and hillsides. These mass movements cause unexpected human and economical losses. Heavy rainfall is the most common cause for landslides although earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, collapse of groundwater reservoirs, ice melt can also cause them.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) released some imagery from the satellite rainfall estimates for the current flood disasters in Sri Lanka. The Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) revealed that the extraordinary flooding in Sri Lanka was caused by unusually strong monsoonal rainfall over the period between 10 September and 30 September 2014.
Floods, landslides, and droughts are hazards that are triggered by excess or shortage of precipitation. Monitoring precipitation is important to see those hazards coming and to enable decision makers to take measures as early as possible. Precipitation data - together with anciliary data - thus help to prevent that natural hazards turn into disasters.
A study carried out by the University of Leicester has shown the amount of rainfall many African areas receive has drastically changed in the last ten years. It is an essential factor for vegetation, which plays a vital role in African livelihoods.
Data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) revealed extraordinary flooding in Sri Lanka caused by unusually strong monsoonal rainfall over the period 31 May - 4 June 2014, as research at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) shows.