[1] The 7th International Precipitation Conference (IPC) was held on 30 June to 3 July 2001 in Rockport, Maine with sponsorship from the Atmospheric Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and the Land-Surface Hydrology Program of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Global Programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The conference was cochaired by Ana P. Barros of Harvard University and Elfatih Eltahir from MIT and involved 259 scientists with 105 separate contributions and an average daily participation of one hundred registrants from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The contributions were organized in three interdisciplinary topical areas with special attention given to the measurement of precipitation using satellites and radar, with particular emphasis on TRMM and future Global Precipitation Mission (GPM), and to modeling and physical characterization of precipitation processes including the relationship between land cover and vegetation dynamics and the interannual variability of rainfall. About 20% of the presentations focused on the characterization of statistical properties of precipitation fields. The papers presented in this issue are only a very small sample of the breath and depth of the topics covered during the 7th IPC. As the IPC co-Chairs, we invited all conference attendees to submit manuscripts for possible publication in this special issue. However, the complete responsibility for coordination, review process, final acceptance, and inclusion of selected articles remained with the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres Editorial Board, and the co-Chairs were not asked to participate and indeed did not contribute to the process at any stage.

[2] By providing a forum to reflect and talk about precipitation research as a community endeavor, the International Precipitation Conference has acquired over the years a special place in the agenda of many colleagues around the world. We are pleased to announce that Christian Kummerow from Colorado State University and Y. Alila from University of British Columbia will be hosting the upcoming 8th International Precipitation Conference. This will no doubt be another great opportunity to bring together scientists from the Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology and Hydrometeorology communities.

[3] We should like to take this opportunity to thank again the NSF, NASA, and NOAA-OGP for continued support of the International Precipitation Conference over the years. Finally, we thank our many colleagues from all over the world for their active participation and enthusiasm. We are looking forward to the 8th IPC!