NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Properties, Version 1.0

AVHRR Cloud Properties - NASA

browse graphicSample image from dataset
The NASA LaRC cloud and clear sky radiation properties dataset is generated using algorithms initially developed for application to TRMM and MODIS imagery within the NASA CERES program. The algorithms have been adapted to operate upon AVHRR, an instrument that has fewer spectral channels than MODIS. This dataset utilizes calibrated AVHRR reflectances from a companion FCDR. Cloud and clear-sky radiation properties are derived globally at the 4 km Global Area Coverage pixel scale during both day and night using this approach. CDR quality variables include: Cloud and clear sky pixel detection (count), Cloud top thermodynamic phase (count), Cloud optical depth (count), Cloud particle effective radius (micrometers), Air pressure at effective cloud top (hPa), Air temperature at effective cloud top (K), and Height at effective cloud top (km). Other Non-CDR Quality Variables include: Air pressure at cloud top (hPa), Air temperature at cloud top (K), Height at cloud top (km), Height at cloud base (km), Air pressure at cloud base (hPa), Overshooting cloud top detection mask (count), Land and sea surface temperature retrieval (K), Shortwave broadband albedo (unit less), Longwave broadband flux (W/m2), Snow and ice cover flag (count), Land and sea surface temperature retrieval quality flag (count), Clear sky pixel classification (count), Cloudy pixel classification (count)
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: Minnis, Patrick; Bedka, Kristopher; and the NOAA CDR Program (2015): NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Properties, Version 1.0. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.789/V5HT2M8T [access date].
Download Data
Distribution Formats
  • netCDF (Version: 4)
    • File Specification: The NetCDF data files comply with the Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata Conventions and the NetCDF Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD).
Distributor Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact NOAA Climate Data Record Program Office
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
+1 828-271-4800
cdr-ipt-cloud_bundle@noaa.gov
Time Period 1978-11-05 to Present (time interval: 2-hour)
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90.0
S: -90.0
E: 180.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Processing Documents
  • Source Code Package for AVHRR Cloud Properties - NASA
    • CDR Source Code (download)
      This source code is for reference only. The source code is provided to maintain transparency of the algorithm and processes used in creating the Climate Data Record (CDR). The source code is not intended to be portable to any computer system(s) beyond that of the original CDR producer's environment.
  • NASA LaRC AVHRR & GOES Shortwave Channel Calibration FCDR Top Level Flowchart
  • Climate Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for AVHRR Radiances - NASA -- A Consistent Long-Term Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Property Dataset from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)
Associated Resources
  • NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Visible and Near Infrared Reflectance from AVHRR, Version 1.0
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2015-03-01
Edition Version 1.0
Data Presentation Form Digital document - digital representation of a primarily textual item (can contain illustrations also)
Dataset Progress Status Planned - fixed date has been established upon or by which the data will be created or updated
Data Update Frequency Monthly
Purpose The dataset is intended to identify global cloud cover and cloud macro- and microphysical properties throughout the entire AVHRR data record which extends from 1978 to the present. This CDR provides data at the highest spatial resolution of any existing cloud climatology. We address AVHRR sensor noise and errant navigation in a robust manner. AVHRR shortwave channel calibration is referenced to Aqua MODIS and is the highest quality of any AVHRR-based cloud climatology. Daytime and night-time cloud properties are provided which offers advantages over many other climatologies that are daytime-only. Nearly all the CDR products have been validated using NASA A-Train observations which has not been done for many of the other global climatologies. Possible uses for this data include tracking temporal trends in global cloud cover and properties, such as the energy industry determining cloud frequency for determining appropriate use of alternative energy solutions.
Use Limitations
  • See the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for a description of the use limitations for this dataset. Cloud pixel detection is CDR quality during both day and night, but is not CDR quality at night over snow/ice covered regions. Cloud optical depth and effective radius is not CDR quality at night or over snow/ice covered regions. There are significant issues with noise in 3.74 um radiances prior to NOAA-15. While efforts have been made to address the noise issue, no method can do this perfectly and this will have an impact on the cloud detection and retrieval results. NOAA-16 and -17, and MetOp-A and -B all switch the Channel 3 data from 3.74 um to 1.61 um during the day. The cloud algorithms must be adjusted to account for this channel switch and this will have an impact on the cloud detection and retrieval results. TIROS-N, NOAA-6, -8, and -10 do not have a 12 um channel. The 12 um channel is quite important at night so we expect that this will have a significant impact on the cloud detection and retrieval results. The term "daytime" above implies a solar zenith angle < 82 deg
Dataset Citation
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: Minnis, Patrick; Bedka, Kristopher; and the NOAA CDR Program (2015): NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Properties, Version 1.0. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.789/V5HT2M8T [access date].
Cited Authors
  • Minnis, Patrick
    Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center
  • Bedka, Kristopher
    Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center
  • NOAA CDR Program
Principal Investigators
  • Minnis, Patrick
    Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center
  • Bedka, Kristopher
    Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center
Collaborators
  • NOAA CDR Program
Publishers
  • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Cloud Microphysics
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Cloud Properties
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Cloud Types
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Convective Clouds/Systems (observed/Analyzed)
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Stratospheric Clouds (observed/Analyzed)
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Tropospheric/High-Level Clouds (observed/Analyzed)
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Tropospheric/Low Level Clouds (observed/Analyzed)
  • Atmosphere > Clouds > Tropospheric/Mid-Level Clouds (observed/Analyzed)
  • Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Longwave Radiation
  • Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Optical Depth/Thickness
  • Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Outgoing Longwave Radiation
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Skin Temperature
  • Climate Indicators > Atmospheric/Ocean Indicators > Cloud Indicators
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Weather Events > Rain Storms
Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
  • Atmospheric - Upper-air - Cloud Properties
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Science Directorate, Langley Research Center, NASA
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • TIROS-N > Television Infrared Observation Satellite-N
  • NOAA-6 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-6
  • NOAA-7 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-7
  • NOAA-8 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-8
  • NOAA-9 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-9
  • NOAA-10 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-10
  • NOAA-11 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-11
  • NOAA-12 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-12
  • NOAA-14 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-14
  • NOAA-15 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-15
  • NOAA-16 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-16
  • NOAA-17 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-17
  • NOAA-18 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-18
  • NOAA-19 > National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-19
  • METOP-A > Meteorological Operational Satellite - A
  • METOP-B > Meteorological Operational Satellite - B
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • AVHRR > Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • AVHRR-2 > Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-2
  • AVHRR-3 > Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-3
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Geographic Region > Global
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) Program
  • NOAA OneStop Project
Data Resolution keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Horizontal Data Resolution Keywords
  • 1 km - < 10 km or approximately .01 degree - < .09 degree
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Temporal Data Resolution Keywords
  • Hourly - < Daily
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Vertical Data Resolution Keywords
  • > 1 km
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Boundary Layer
  • Vertical Location > Stratosphere
Use Constraints
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: Minnis, Patrick; Bedka, Kristopher; and the NOAA CDR Program (2015): NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Properties, Version 1.0. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.789/V5HT2M8T [access date].
  • See the Use Agreement for this CDR available on the CDR page.
  • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Access Constraints
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Fees
  • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free, however fees may apply for data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
Lineage information for: dataset
Lineage Statement The data were produced by the NASA Langley Research Center, and are archived at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The reflectances used in the calculation of these cloud properties are included in the archived file. For more information, please review dataset CATB-D
Processor
  • NASA Langley Research Center
Processing Steps
  • For a description of the processing steps, see the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document and Data Flow Diagram for this dataset.
Processing Documents
    • Source Code Package for AVHRR Cloud Properties - NASA
      • CDR Source Code (download)
        This source code is for reference only. The source code is provided to maintain transparency of the algorithm and processes used in creating the Climate Data Record (CDR). The source code is not intended to be portable to any computer system(s) beyond that of the original CDR producer's environment.
    • NASA LaRC AVHRR & GOES Shortwave Channel Calibration FCDR Top Level Flowchart
    • Climate Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for AVHRR Radiances - NASA -- A Consistent Long-Term Cloud and Clear-Sky Radiation Property Dataset from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)
Source Datasets
  • NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of Visible and Near Infrared Reflectance from GOES and AVHRR, Version 1.0
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Last Modified: 2018-05-25
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