In this study, we compared retrieved soil moisture data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) with that of the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) which is based on the NCEP/Noah land surface model. The main focus was to investigate consistency at various time and space scales between the retrieved and the model data. Regional scale study domains of wet and dry regions were selected and basic statistics of the two data sets were intercompared. The relationship between precipitation and soil moisture for both data sets was also studied using time-series correlations and Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis. Temporal and spatial patterns related with the interaction of precipitation and soil moisture, between the model and the retrieved data sets, were examined. Potential implications for how satellite-based soil moisture observations can contribute to improved large-scale soil moisture estimation through data assimilation using a land surface model were investigated.