The lack of observations over vast tropical oceans is a major challenge for tropical cyclone research. Satellite observations and model reanalysis data play an important role in filling these gaps. Established in the mid-1980s, the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), as one of the 12 NASA data centers, archives and distributes data from several Earth science disciplines such as precipitation, atmospheric dynamics, atmospheric composition, and hydrology, including well-known NASA satellite missions (e.g., TRMM, GPM) and model assimilation projects (MERRA-2). Acquiring datasets suitable for tropical cyclone research in a large data archive is a challenge for many, especially for those who are not familiar with satellite or model data. Over the years, the GES DISC has developed user-friendly data services. For example, Giovanni is an online visualization and analysis tool, allowing users to visualize and analyze over 2000 satellite- and model-based variables with a Web browser, without downloading data and software. In this chapter, we will describe data and services at the GES DISC with emphasis on tropical cyclone research. We will also present two case studies and discuss future plans.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Tropical Cyclone Research