Precipitation observed from space


Satellite instruments provide valuable precipitation information that is complementary to rain-gauge and radar data.

High-resolution precipitation datasets derived from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) which is on-board the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) are developed as part of EURO4M. Precipitation occurrence and intensity are retrived in a two-step approach on the basis of cloud physical parameters, such as cloud-top temperature, cloud condensed water path and particle effective radius. Initial validation has shown good agreement with weather radar measurements over the Netherlands and rain-gauge measurements from the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECA&D) project. The availability of a homogeneous time series of precipitation products from a single instrument covering European land and ocean, with a spatial resolution of about 5x5 km² and a temporal resolution of 15 minutes, is invaluable to the climate community. This time series will extend back to 2004 when MSG data first became available.

 
Precipitation observed from space
The percentage of time in which precipitation occurred as derived from SEVIRI for the period May to August 2006. Western Europe and mountainous regions stand out with a relatively high percentage of wet days. (source: KNMI)