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NASA and Colorado State University Volunteer Network Invite Public to Free Webinar on Floods
Large and small radar arrays sprout like mushrooms from a field and shipping containers against a blue sky Caption: The NASA NPOL (left) and D3R (right) precipitation radars deployed south of Waterloo, Iowa, for the Iowa Flood Studies ground measurement campaign. Credit: Matt Schwaller/ NASA
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guy in a green coat installs a collection pipe on a rain gauge in a stubble field Caption: IFC staff install a rain gauge and soil moisture platform in the Turkey River watershed in northeast Iowa. Credit: Iowa Flood Center
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The public is invited to participate in a free webinar about a NASA field campaign that uses rain measurements to improve flood forecasting. The webinar will be hosted by NASA and the Community, Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, known as CoCoRaHS, run by Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

The webinar will be held on June 11 at 7 p.m. EDT and will feature the Iowa Flood Studies field campaign, a partnership between NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission and the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

"We're trying to figure out how well our satellites estimate rainfall," said Walt Petersen, GPM ground validation scientist at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. "This study is unique in that it takes space-borne observations, it takes ground-based observations, and it brings those things into a modeling framework that should further our ability to predict flooding."

Flooding is a major hazard worldwide that affects millions of people and can cause billions of dollars in damage. During the Iowa Flood Studies' six-week field campaign, scientists measure rainfall from rain gauges and radar set up across eastern Iowa to improve satellite measurements of precipitation from space and to improve the forecast models they use to predict floods.

Walt Petersen, GPM science team lead for the field campaign, and Steve Nesbitt of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will talk about the importance and the day-to-day operations of these field campaigns. They will discuss the campaign's science results, which will help researchers better understand Earth's water cycle, weather and climate, meteorology and the new capabilities of using satellite technology to investigate Earth's hydrological systems. In addition, webinar participants will discuss precipitation-related education and citizen science efforts.

CoCoRaHS is a citizen-scientist network with more than 18,000 volunteers nationwide that encourages volunteers of all ages to record and monitor precipitation using accurate, low-cost rain gauges. The organization is working with the GPM mission, a new satellite mission to measure precipitation from space every three hours that will help advance the understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles. A partnership between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the GPM Core satellite is scheduled to launch in early 2014.

Registration for the webinar is required at:

For more information on the Iowa Flood Studies, visit: or

For more information about the GPM mission, visit:, or

For more information about CoCoRaHS or to volunteer, visit:

Goddard Release No. 13-031

Dorian Janney
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Noah Newmann
CoCoRaHS, Colorado State University, Fort Collins