UAH researcher assisting in raindrop study - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UAH researcher assisting in raindrop study

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The satellite is expected to increase accuracy of precipitation measurements. The satellite is expected to increase accuracy of precipitation measurements.

The largest raindrop on record in the US fell at the UAH campus in Huntsville. It measured 9.1mm, about half the size of a dime. The drop began as a piece of hail that melted before landing and fell on May 3, 2013.

A doctoral student at UAH and NASA intern is actively researching raindrops. His research will help assist NASA, which plans to launch a raindrop satellite later this month.

The satellite will measure rainfall and snow around the world and is the first satellite of its kind. For the past few years, scientists have been using ground instruments to measure the height and width of common raindrops. They said the satellite will increase collection accuracy.

"There are parts of the globe that we don't actually know how much rain or snow falls. This satellite will give us this information that will directly feed into weather forecasts, so it'll help us make better weather predictions and climate," said atmospheric scientist Patrick Gatlin.

The launch is called the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission, or GPM. The satellite is scheduled to launch Feb. 27.

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