Tropical Storm Analysis Environment with Near Real-Time Wind Vectors, SSTs, and Rain Rates:
Satellite microwave data are useful for studying tropical cyclones. Unlike other instruments, microwaves penetrate clouds, allowing us to derive SSTs and surface winds in these cloudy, high rain and intense wind regions.
Active storms are available by clicking on the storm name below. Past storm plots are archived. A help button is provided in the browse tool that explains the parts and uses of this TC analysis environment. Read more about the data and processing used here. These data are not meant to be used for individual emergency decision making and are for research purposes only.
The storm track data are provided to RSS by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii, the Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division in Monterrey, CA, and the National Hurricane Center in Florida. Using this 3-hourly data, we update our maps and tracks. On the SST storm track maps, the forecasted positions of a storm are shown with a dashed black line, with forecasted wind speeds indicated by circle diameter.
Satellite microwave instruments cross tropical cyclones approximately twice daily depending on storm forward velocity and microwave instrument measurement swath width. Plots included in the storm viewer browse tool contain QuikScat (SeaWinds) or WindSat 10-meter ocean surface vector winds (shown as wind barbs or wind ambiguities), daily Microwave OI SSTs, and co-located SSM/I, TMI, or WindSat rain rates. The scatterometer winds are derived using the Ku-2011 algorithm. The WindSat Polarimetric Radiometer provides more reliable wind vectors at wind speeds greater than 7 m/s. An all-weather wind algorithm (Version-7.0.1) is used to obtain the data shown in the wind vector plots. When WindSat data are displayed, the co-located SSTs are always from WindSat.
The SSTs shown here on the RSS Storm Watch site are the Microwave Optimally Interpolated (MW OI) daily SST product that utilizes AMSR2, WindSat data processed in near-real-time (~6 to 36 hours from time of data observation) and TMI, and AMSR-E data in older archived plots. Diurnal warming is removed from these SSTs, so the OI SST product is a good representation of temperature in the upper several meters of sea water. Satellite SST retrievals generally measure the skin temperature (< 1 millimeter), where solar heating can cause warming of ~3° C in low wind. Removing the diurnal warming component leads to a more accurate measurement of the heat energy content in the upper several meters of ocean water, where it is available to a tropical cyclone. See Hurricane Fabian.
The SST storm track anomaly maps consist of differences between MW OI SSTs and Reynold's SST climatology data. The anomaly maps best reveal mixing/upwelling due to tropical storms. The storm tracks will remain on these maps for several days after the storm has dwindled or left the region so that lasting SST effects can be observed.
QuikScat data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Ocean Vector Winds Science Team. Data are available at www.remss.com.
WindSat data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Earth Science MEaSUREs DISCOVER Project and the NASA Earth Science Physical Oceanography Program. RSS WindSat data are available at www.remss.com.
The Microwave OI SST data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), the NASA Earth Science Physical Oceanography Program, and the NASA MEaSUREs DISCOVER Project.
How To Cite These Data
If you have used images from this tropical cyclone browse tool, please be sure to credit RSS. Our continued funding for product delivery is dependent on demonstrating to NASA that these products are used by the research community. Please include the following citation:
"This image was obtained from Remote Sensing Systems, www.remss.com/storm-watch. Data production is sponsored by NASA Earth Science."