Image from TERRA
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:13 EST

In the northern Mexican state of Cohuilla lies the Cuatro Cienegas Basin.

Image from TERRA
Fri, 10 Jan 2020 14:16 EST

These views of Earth from 2019 were taken with a variety of different science instruments and data tools, all helping us see our planet more clearly.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 07 Jan 2020 11:11 EST

Kangaroo Island, off the coast of Australia, has not been immune to the devastating bushfires that have been affected the eastern coast of the continent.

Weather

Weather–day-to-day temperature and rainfall–plays an important role in human activities. Weather controls crop growth. It can impact transportation infrastructure and destroy homes and other structures. Accurate weather predictions can help decision makers save lives and property.

NASA develops new technologies that offer unique insight into weather and the processes that generate it. NASA scientists study weather processes to gain a more complete understanding of the Earth system. Advanced technology and greater scientific understanding of weather processes together improve weather forecasts made by operational agencies like the NOAA National Weather Service.

Terra and Weather

Terra data contribute to understanding and predicting weather phenomena. MODIS and MISR provide observations of water vapor, winds and cloud movement that are used to track motion in the atmosphere (atmospheric motion vectors) and improve weather forecasts.

Polar Winds

MODIS provides the only high-resolution satellite measurement of water vapor, which can be used with MODIS infrared measurements to observe winds in polar regions. Since Terra is in a polar orbit, MODIS collects observations over the poles every 100 minutes. By tracking how water vapor and clouds move between orbits, scientists can determine wind speed and direction. Such measurements increase the accuracy of numerical weather models used to make 10-day forecasts.

See Polar wind data blow new life into forecasts.

Wind Fields

MISR’s multi-angle stereo view can be used to track cloud motion and deduce wind speed and direction. In particular, MISR measurements provide insight into how wind speeds vary inside hurricanes of different sizes.

Terra Science on Weather in the News