Two articles about NASA precipitation data have recently been published in The Pacific Tradewinds Quarterly, the newsletter of the Schools of the Pacific Rainfall Climate Experiment (SPaRCE). These articles describe the precipitation data sets created by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Laboratory for Atmospheres, and the analysis and visualization capabilities for precipitation data provided at the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).
The first article, in the July/August/September issue , is entitled "Global Precipitation Data at Your Fingertips, Part 1: Data", and is authored by Dr. George Huffman. The article presents descriptions of data sets created by the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP). Three of these data sets utilize data acquired by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), in combination with data from other satellites. These are referred to as the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) data sets. The longest duration data set is the monthly satellite-gauge combined data set, commencing in 1979, which was created for the GPCP. (Each of these data sets is available from the TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS) in the Giovanni system).
Dr. Zhong Liu of the GES DISC and George Mason University authored "Global Precipitation Data at Your Fingertips, Part 2: Data Access" for the October/November/December issue of the newsletter. In this article, the analysis capabilities of Giovanni TOVAS are described, as well as the additional capabilities of the Hurricane Data Analysis Tool. Several data plots are shown in this article, highlighting the precipitation impact of the 1997/1998 El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean.
The newsletters, in PDF, can be accessed on the SPaRCE home page.
SPaRCE is a program that seeks to increase the amount of precipitation data collected for the Pacific Ocean region. Their introductory statement reads: "The Schools of the Pacific Rainfall Climate Experiment (SPaRCE) is a cooperative field project involving local meteorological services, elementary, middle school, high school, college, and trade school students from various Pacific islands, atolls, and the U.S. The SPaRCE program (headquartered at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma) began in January 1993 with only a handful of Pacific schools. Since its implementation, the project has quickly grown. There are currently over 160 schools from approximately 22 different countries enrolled." Participating schools receive educational materials and can receive additional meteorological instruments and educational materials as they progress.