Compared to a benchmark experiment with no AMSR2 data, the impact of assimilating clear-sky or all-sky AMSR2 radiances on the analysis and forecast of Hurricane Sandy (2012) was assessed through analysis/ forecast cycling experiments using WRF and WRFDA’s three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation scheme. With more cloud/precipitation-affected data being assimilated around tropical cyclone (TC) core areas in the all-sky AMSR2 assimilation experiment, better analyses were obtained in terms of the TC’s central sea level pressure (CSLP), warm-core structure and cloud distribution. Substantial ( 20 %) error reduction in track and CSLP forecasts was achieved from both clear-sky and all-sky AMSR2 assimilation experiments, and this improvement was consistent from the analysis time to 72-h forecasts. Moreover, the all- sky assimilation experiment consistently yielded better track and CSLP forecasts than the clear-sky did for all forecast lead times, due to a better analysis in the TC core areas. Positive forecast impact from assimilating AMSR2 radiances is also seen when verified against the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analysis and the Stage IV precipitation analysis, with an overall larger positive impact from the all-sky assimilation experiment.