Radar is increasingly used to measure precipitation in hydrologic science applications. It’s handy because it can be both frequent and areally distributed.
This NWS newsletter does a great job of going over the basics of how weather radar can be used to derive rainfall rates and totals. This page gives a seamless map of 1-day precipitation totals for the US, derived from radar measurements. Pretty sweet! The videos below give more information on ground-based and space-based radar rainfall applications.
Or in space:
The upcoming launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite will greatly expand space-based precipitation measurements. The launch is currently scheduled for the 27th of February, but there is a media event on NASA TV on Monday, January 27th.
Also, follow @NASA_Rain on twitter to learn about the upcoming Global Precipitation Mission launch and the science behind it.