Atmospheric Assessment & Evaluation

Precipitation Development and Measurement

Watching it Happen

Fresh water from rain or snow provides almost all water for human and animal consumption, including irrigation. While the formation of precipitation is reasonably well understood, the variations in the processes from cloud-to-cloud and locale-to-locale can be very significant.


The specialized airborne instrumentation for in situ cloud measurement makes it possible to directly observe precipitation development:


For general atmospheric measurement and characterization:

  • Total temperature
  • Dew point
  • Pressure / pressure altitude
  • 3D winds
  • GPS position
  • Vertical acceleration

For the measurement of cloud hydrometeors:

  • Cloud liquid water content
  • Cloud droplets (sizes and numbers)
  • Cloud images (sizes, shapes, and numbers;
    small particles)
  • Precipitation images (sizes, shapes, and
    numbers, precipitation-sized particles)