NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC

AMSR-E/Aqua Data

Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System Sensor on the NASA Aqua Satellite

AMSR-E Images of Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances struck a wide stretch of Florida's east coast over Labor Day weekend, 2004, with winds of 105 mph and more than 13 inches of rain. It weakened into a tropical storm before sweeping across the Gulf of Mexico and into the Florida Panhandle. The storm and its remnants were blamed for at least 19 deaths in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The AMSR-E sensor aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured images of the hurricane as it tracked across the Carribean. AMSR-E is a passive microwave sensor that is well-suited for studying rainfall, ocean, soil moisture, and polar sea ice. The images below were derived from Level-2B swath rainfall and ocean data, available from NSIDC.

The rainfall product provides instantaneous measurements of rain rate and rain type (convective vs. stratiform), generated from Level-2A brightness temperatures (AE_L2A). The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Profiling algorithm determines rain rate and rain type over ocean areas, and a Modified GSFC Profiling algorithm over land.

Near-surface wind speed is also derived from Level-2A brightness temperatures, and is a function of upwind and crosswind slope variance of the ocean surface. Microwave Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and wind speed measurements become unreliable in rain. Users should examine the quality flags contained in the product and discard SST or wind speed data if necessary to avoid rain contamination.

The AMSR-E rainfall and ocean products are not meant for real time, operational analysis, or forecasting.

 

Rain Rate

Source: AE_Rain
Spatial Resolution: 5.4 km
AMSR-E Channel: 89 GHz

Rain rate legend Rain rate, 31 August
31 August 2004
Rain rate, 01 September
01 September 2004
     
     
Rain rate legend Rain rate, 02 September
02 September 2004
Rain rate, 03 September
03 September 2004
     
     
Rain rate legend Rain rate, 05 September
05 September 2004
Rain rate, 06 September
06 September 2004
     
     
Rain rate legend Rain rate, 07 September
07 September 2004
     
 

Wind Speed Over Ocean

Source: AE_Ocean
Spatial Resolution: 21 km
AMSR-E Channel: 18.9 GHz

Wind speed legend Medium-resolution wind speed, 31 August
31 August 2004
Medium-resolution wind speed, 01 September
01 September 2004
     
     
Wind speed legend Medium-resolution wind speed, 02 September
02 September 2004
Medium-resolution wind speed, 03 September
03 September 2004
     
     
Wind speed legend Medium-resolution wind speed, 05 September
05 September 2004
Medium-resolution wind speed, 06 September
06 September 2004