Latest News and Updates

May 3, 2017
MODIS image of flooding in Missouri.
Terra MODIS image of Missouri acquired on April 25th, 2017. Terra MODIS image of Missouri floods acquired on May 2nd, 2017. On May 2, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this false-color image of flooding along several tributaries of Mississippi River. Flood water appears blue and black; forested areas are green. Fields without much vegetation are brown. For comparison, the image at the top shows these watersheds on April 25, 2017, under more typical conditions for the season. Turn on the image comparison tool to see the changes.


April 28, 2017
Comparison of 2016 Landsat 8 mosaic image with recent Landsat image showing burn scars.
Download Hi-Res Image (.jpg, 15MB) These images from the Landsat 8 satellite show the effects of the recent wildfires in Guatemala on the Guatemala Mayan Biosphere Reserve. The left image is a mosaic composite of Landsat images from 2016, and the right image is a Landsat 8 image from April 19, 2017. 


April 17, 2017
SAR flood extent map for Aukland New Zealand.
Following a Sentinel-1 acquisition over eastern North Island, covering Auckland on April 14, 2017 at 17:37h UTC, a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) flood proxy map (FPM)  was developed as a KMZ overlay (available for download here) This FPM covers an area of 175-by-500 km, derived from Sentinel-1's pre- (2016-04-02) and post-event (2017-04-14) SAR amplitude images. The colored pixels represent areas of possible floods mostly due to Cyclone Cook (Red: usually flooded vegetation, Blue: usually open water flood).  Different irrigation conditions on the two data acquisition dates can produce errors on agricultural lands and may be less reliable over urban areas. No preliminary validation was implemented, including topographic corrections. As a result, the map may show flooded areas over sloped terrain. The FPM was created by the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at JPL/Caltech. The FPM Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-1 data 2017 and there are no restrictions on its release.


April 17, 2017
GFMS flood detection map for 2017 Argentina floods
Overview of northern Argentina floods on April 17th 2017  Model inundation estimates at 1 km. Forecasted rainfall for the next 3 days. Resulting flood forecast overview for April 20th 2017  


April 14, 2017
IMERG precipitation accumulation from New Zealand.
Two extra-tropical cyclones recently dropped very heavy rain over New Zealand, Debbie and Cook. As Cook's remnants continue to move away, NASA analyzed the heavy rainfall generated from the double extra-tropical punch. Tropical cyclone Debbie dumped extreme amounts of rain over the northeastern coast of Australia when it hit the Queensland coast on March 28, 2017. After drenching northeastern Australia Extra-tropical Cyclone Debbie transported a river of water over New Zealand last week. Debbie's remnants dropped heavy rainfall that caused widespread flooding near the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's northeastern coast. Thousands of residents needed to be evacuated with extra-tropical cyclone Debbie. This week extra-tropical Cyclone Cook added to the recent unusually heavy rainfall over New Zealand. Tropical Cyclone Cook earlier killed one person and dropped a reported 300 mm (11.8 inches) when it hit New Caledonia first on April 10, 2017. New Zealand's Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay on the northeastern coast of the North Island were again the most affected by this second extra-tropical cyclone to hit New Zealand. Video of NASA Examines New Zealand's Extreme Rainfall   The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite, a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA measures rainfall from space, and that data was used to calculate rainfall. GPM data was included in NASA's IMERG to tally the rainfall from both extra-tropical cyclones.


April 13, 2017
SAR flood maps of 2017 New Zealand floods.
Below are images of a SAR Flood Map derived from ESA Sentinel-1 data for April 4, 2017. Flood regions were detected by measuring the difference in radar images acquired on April 4 and March 11 by Sentinel-1. Newer products will be developed when the data becomes available from ESA. On the KML file, red areas indicate flood presence. The point of contact for this data is: Layers, top to bottom: Light Blue is reference water extent mapped via NASA 90 m (spatial resolution) SWBD. Red is flood water mapped from ESA Sentinel 1 SAR data. Dark Blue is all previous satellite-mapped flooding. If visible, straight red markings define limit of satellite coverage. Detail View:


April 12, 2017
NASA's new Black Marble image of the Earth at night.
NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet.


April 11, 2017
Flood extent map from the 2017 floods in Argentina.
This is a draft map using two (Terra and Aqua) NASA MODIS WorldView scenes from April 11, 2017. Water was classified using an "isodata" unsupervised classification method (7-17 classes, three iterations, three classes were combined into one "water" class). A before scene is shown above for comparison purposes, but no change detection approach has been used so far. There are abundant "false water" areas shown; this map will be revised to remove these errors. Data processing of Sentinel 1 SAR scenes is in progress. Many rivers in this dry region of the Pampas are ephemeral and ofter without surface flow (see view from MODIS obtained prior to the flooding). Layers, top to bottom: Light Blue is reference water extent mapped via NASA 90 m (spatial resolution) SWBD. Red is flood water mapped from ESA Sentinel 1 SAR data. Dark Blue is all previous satellite-mapped flooding. If visible, straight red markings define limit of satellite coverage. Urban areas (satellite visible lights) are shown in light gray. MODIS WorldView bands 7,2,1 color composites, April 11, 2017 (flooding, left), and March 13, 1017 (pre-flood, right)   Image Data Sources:


April 11, 2017
2017 New Zealand flood forecast from the GFMS.
The GFMS uses real-time TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) precipitation information as input to a quasi-global hydrological runoff and routing model. 
  • In addition, the latest maps of instantaneous precipitation and totals from the last day, three days and seven days are displayed.
  • Flood detection/intensity estimates are based on 13 years of retrospective model runs with TMPA input, with flood thresholds derived for each grid location using surface water storage statistics. 
  • Streamflow, surface water storage, and inundation variables are also calculated at 1km resolution. 
  Plots of forecast rain from NASA GEOS-5 global model. New Zealand flood forecasts from the Global Flood Monitoring System (


April 7, 2017
Example ISS image from Peru Flooding 2017.
Click here to view the full image collection and download  high quality georeferenced images. This collection of digital camera images was taken by astronauts onboard the International Space Station on April 7th, 2017, then manually georeferenced by members of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center.