Washington, October 30: For the first time, NASA has combined and remastered the satellite measurements from two of our precipitation spacecraft to create our most detailed picture of our planet’s rain and snowfall. This new record will help scientists better understand normal and extreme rain and snowfall around the world and how these weather events may change in a warming climate.
Using this new two-decade record, we can see the most extreme places on Earth. The wettest places on our planet occur over oceans. These extremely wet locations tend to be very concentrated and over small regions.
The driest places on Earth are more widespread. Two of the driest places on Earth are also next to cold ocean waters. In these parts of the ocean, it rains as little as it does in the desert – they’re also known as ocean deserts!
Just two thousand miles to the south of Colombia is one of the driest areas, the Atacama Desert in Chile that receives on average 0.64 inches of rain per year.
By being able to compare and contrast past and present data, researchers are better informed to make climate and weather models more accurate, better understand normal and extreme rain and snowfall around the world, and strengthen applications for current and future disasters, disease, resource management, energy production and food security.