the ground, making the storm more dangerous and intense. These winds, with their strengths determined by drop size, are also a major factor in how long a storm lasts.
Understanding storms isn’t merely an intellectual exercise. As Munchak explained, “Without knowing the relationship or the ratio of those large drops to the smaller or medium sized drops, we can have a big error in how much rain we know fell.” Knowing precisely how much water falls out of a particular cloud is an important part of predicting weather and could significantly improve the accuracy of our predictions.
These improved forecasts are crucial for agriculture, where water resources can decide whether a crop succeeds or fails. Understanding how storms form and develop could also give meteorologists new tools for predicting, understanding and monitoring hurricanes and other extreme natural hazards like flash floods and droughts.
According to the GPM page, its new data on raindrops and snowflakes will also have societal and scientific benefits on a larger scale. Because it is observing the water cycle throughout the whole world, this experiment will allow improved knowledge of atmosphere changes over various timescales, including the long-term links between precipitation, the atmosphere, and climate change. These tiny images from space could help us understand how our planet works, from the tiniest raindrop all the way up to the largest, longest-lived weather system.