January 31 2014

Key Satellite Data from Japanese Partner Now Available to NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Near Real-Time

amsr2 imagery of haiyan
This AMSR2 imagery of Haiyan is derived from a 37GHz brightness temperature data product, which aided hurricane specialists and weather forecasters for assessing the intensity of the storm. The highest values in the figure are associated with the heaviest precipitation. (CREDIT: Paul Chang, NOAA’s GCOM-W1/AMSR2 Product Development and Validation Project, NOAA Visualization Lab and JAXA.)
When the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, NOAA forecasters will use data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) GCOM-W1 polar-orbiting satellite which flies the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument that will improve their ability to monitor the development, location, and structure of tropical cyclones.

Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines last November and AMSR2 has the potential to generate high-resolution imagery and rainfall measurements that could aid hurricane specialists and weather forecasters in tracking the precipitation intensity location, structure of storms of this magnitude.

"AMSR2's ability to aid in tracking powerful tropical cyclones, like Haiyan, is an incredible tool for advanced weather forecasting and saving human lives and property," said Paul Chang, NOAA scientist.

In 2011, NOAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the JAXA to receive data from the AMSR2 instrument in exchange for providing AMSR2 ground data acquisition support to JAXA. AMSR2 currently flies aboard the JAXA GCOM-W1 polar-orbiting satellite.

Both the JAXA Global Change Observation Mission 1-Water (GCOM-W1) satellite and the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) spacecraft, the first in the series of next generation polar-orbiting satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), will provide vital information to support weather forecasting and warnings.

Chang, who is also the NOAA lead for the GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Product and Development Team, added: "We look forward to continuing this important research with NOAA's National Hurricane Center and discovering more about AMSR2."

This AMSR2 imagery of Haiyan is derived from a 37GHz brightness temperature data product, which aided hurricane specialists and weather forecasters for assessing the intensity of the storm. The highest values in the figure are associated with the heaviest precipitation. Credit: Paul Chang, NOAA's GCOM-W1/AMSR2 Product Development and Validation Project, NOAA Visualization Lab and JAXA.

Information from JPSS supports every area of NOAA's mission, including supporting healthy coasts, resilient coastal communities, adapting and mitigating climate change and a more "Weather-Ready Nation."

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) consists of two satellite series, Water (GCOM-W) and Climate (GCOM-C). The first satellite of the GCOM program, GCOM-W1, was launched on May 17, 2012 UTC, carrying AMSR2, the follow-on to the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). NOAA's GCOM-W1/AMSR2 Product Development and Validation Project will provide NOAA's users access to critical geophysical products derived from AMSR2. These products are detailed in NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Level 1 Requirements Document Supplement.

For more information on JAXA GCOM-W1, please visit www.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/gcom_w/index_e.html.