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Only instruments on geostationary or comparable platforms can view global precipitation at the ~15-min interval that is necessary to monitor rapidly evolving convective events. This paper compares the abilities of 11 alternative passive microwave sensors to retrieve surface precipitation rates and hydrometeor water paths. Five instruments observe selected frequencies from 116 to 429 GHz with a filled-aperture antenna, and six instruments observe from 52 to 191 GHz with a U-shaped aperture synthesis array. The analysis is based on neural network retrieval methods and 122 global MM5-simulated storms that are generally consistent with the simultaneous Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit observations. Several instruments show considerable promise in retrieving hydrometeor water paths and 15-min average precipitation rates ~1-100 mm/h with spatial resolutions that vary from ~15 to ~50 km. This space/time resolution is potentially adequate to support assimilation of precipitation information into cloud-resolving numerical weather prediction models.