Weather forecasting is about to improve with satellite launch

Artist concept of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite.

NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced the launch of a precipitation satellite that will enhance how we understand the climate.

The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory satellite will be launched on February 27 from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center and will measure precipitation and energy cycles.

Researchers say that it will improve weather forecasting worldwide.

"Launching this core observatory and establishing the Global Precipitation Measurement mission is vitally important for environmental research and weather forecasting," said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division in Washington.

"Knowing rain and snow amounts accurately over the whole globe is critical to understanding how weather and climate impact agriculture, fresh water availability, and responses to natural disasters."

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Apart from giving more accurate weather forecasts, the satellite will be able measure the size and distribution of raindrops, snowflakes and ice, helping agriculture, and averting natural disasters.

"We will use data from the GPM mission not only for Earth science research but to improve weather forecasting and respond to meteorological disasters," said Shizuo Yamamoto, executive director of JAXA