AMSR-E Rain Rate for Coastal WFOs

Many NASA/SPoRT partners have coastal forecast issues and are impacted by precipitation  from offshore storms and tropical cyclones.  Outside of the radar coverage it can be difficult to know how much precipitation is occurring with impending tropical convection or cyclones.  The AMSR-E instrument provides a rain rate product to aid these situations.  The products from AMSR-E were highlighted via the NWS Coordination call with SPoRT that occurred in early August 2009 and a bundle of files and instructions to ingest and display this data via SPoRT into AWIPS was made available via ftp site. Below is an example of the AMSR-E rain rate as it fills in where radar coverage ends, and it provides instantaneous rain rates vs hourly totals.  Notice the greater rain rate values in the northwest area of the tropical cyclone as well as the large rates just outside the radar coverage.  While AMSR-E data will not be as timely as radar estimates, suffering a 3-4 hr latency, it fills a gap for coastal and tropical areas and provides more accurate picture for hydrologic impacts and impending tropical cyclone events.

AMSR-E instantaneous rain rate showing more accurate depiction of precipitation over the 1-hour stage 4 estimates below.

Stage 4 radar 1-hourly rainfall.

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