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NASA Sees the Start of India’s Monsoon Season

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Posted June 10, 2015

Monsoon rainfall, although a little later than normal, started on June 5, 2015, in southern India. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite gathered rainfall data that was used to create an animation that shows where the precipitation fell as the season started.

This animation shows the GPM core observatory total rainfall that fell from June 1 to 8, 2015, at the start of India’s Monsoon season as calculated by IMERG. Credits: NASA/SSAI/Hal Pierce

Due to El Nino conditions some meteorologists predict that monsoon rainfall will be below normal this year. Cooling rainfall comes to the country after high temperatures preceding the monsoon have caused the reported deaths of more than 2,300 people.

Data from the NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) was used to create an image and animation to show the advent of India’s monsoon.

Rainfall data is captured by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission. GPM orbits in space to observe precipitation around the world. A snapshot of the precipitation is taken every 30 minutes, then processed and made available to users 18 hours later. New rain maps are routinely created by programs that merge the data from the GPM Core Observatory, a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and a dozen other weather satellites. These maps, called Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), are false-colored with rain in greens and reds, and snowfall depicted in blues and purples.

Rainfall estimates for the week of June 1 through 8, 2015, showed that some heavy showers have dropped over 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of rain in the few days before June 8.

The analysis also indicates that the country of Nepal, which was recently hit by devastating earthquakes, was having some heavy rainfall preceding the monsoon in that area.

Source: NASA

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