International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Climate Data Record, H-Series

Cloud Properties - ISCCP; HXS, HXG, HGG, HGH, HGM, B1U

browse graphic2009 - January Mean Cloud Amount (Sample)
The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) focuses on the distribution and variation of cloud radiative properties to improve the understanding of the effects of clouds on climate, the radiation budget, and the long-term global hydrologic cycle.

The ISCCP H-Series Climate Data Record consists of several parts:
(1) ISCCP H-Series dataset,
(2) ISCCP-Basic H-Series, and
(3) Ancillary and input datasets.

ISCCP H Series data
The full ISCCP dataset consists of netCDF files containing various derived cloud parameters. The H-Series data includes several products. These include:
* HXS (H-series pixel level single satellite - not in netcdf),
* HXG (H-series pixel level gridded),
* HGG (H-series Gridded Global),
* HGH (H-series gridded monthly by hour), and
* HGM ( H-series Gridded Monthly).
The netCDF files are not structured with CF-standard names. Data variables are unitless and rely on data tables that are needed to represent each geophysical variable. Keeping ISCCP H-Series in this native format ensures that existing "power users" will be able to continue using the data.

ISCCP Basic H Series
ISCCP Basic files contains a subset of the cloud variables and products available in the full ISCCP dataset. It consists of remapped, calibrated, and subsetted variables following CF-conventions. In addition, the netCDF files follow full netCDF CF and ACDD Conventions. These files are intended to be use by new and/or less advanced users that may want to use cloud data, but do not need the full ISCCP dataset.

Ancillary and Input data
Ancillary and Input data used in the production of ISCCP are also archived. These consist of B1U geostationary satellite data, B1U and GAC calibration/HBT tables, and ancillary files for nnHIRS, AEROSOL, SNOWICE, and OZONE datasets.
  • Cite as: Rossow, W.B.; Walker, A.; Golea, V.; Knapp, K. R.; Young, A.; Inamdar A.; Hankins, B.; and NOAA's Climate Data Record Program (2016): International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Climate Data Record, H-Series [indicate subset used] NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [access date]. doi:10.7289/V5QZ281S
Download Data
Order Data
Distribution Formats
  • netCDF-4
  • netCDF-4
    • File Specification: Some files are netCDF version 4 (e.g., ISCCP HGM, HGG, HXG) and some files are binary files (ISCCP HXS)
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
ncdc.isccp.team@noaa.gov
Time Period 1982-01-01 to Present (time interval: 3-hour)
Spatial Reference System urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::4326
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90.0
S: -90.0
E: 180.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Processing Documents
  • CDR Source Code
    • CDR Source Code
      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.
  • ISCCP H-Series Data Flow
  • International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project - Operations Guide Build 5
  • International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project - Calibration Monitoring Manual Build 5, Cal Add-on V1
  • Climate Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2017-06-15
Edition v01r00
Data Presentation Form Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Planned - fixed date has been established upon or by which the data will be created or updated
Data Update Frequency Quarterly
Purpose The resulting datasets and analysis products are being used to improve understanding and modeling of the role of clouds in climate, with the primary focus being the elucidation of the effects of clouds on the radiation balance. These data can also used to support many other cloud studies, including understanding of the hydrological cycle.
Use Limitations
  • Even long-term averages show systematic spatial patterns in cloud amount and cloud properties caused by relying on geostationary satellites. Internally-inconsistent retrievals are included in averages, so that total cloudiness and the amount of very high, optically thin clouds is overstated to an unknown degree. Approximately 10% of the planet is covered with partly cloudy pixels and many of these are treated as fully cloudy in ISCCP data, complicating comparisons with models.
  • See the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for a description of the use limitations for this dataset.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Rossow, W.B.; Walker, A.; Golea, V.; Knapp, K. R.; Young, A.; Inamdar A.; Hankins, B.; and NOAA's Climate Data Record Program (2016): International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Climate Data Record, H-Series [indicate subset used] NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [access date]. doi:10.7289/V5QZ281S
Cited Authors
  • Rossow, William
    CREST at The City College of New York
  • Golea, Violeta
    NASA/GSFC/GISS
  • Walker, Alison
    Desert Sage Software
  • Knapp, Ken
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Young, Alisa
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Hankins, Bill
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Inamdar, Anand
    Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICSNC/NOAA/NCEI)
Principal Investigators
  • Rossow, William
    CREST at The City College of New York
Collaborators
  • Golea, Violeta
    NASA/GSFC/GISS
  • Walker, Alison
    Desert Sage Software
  • Knapp, Ken
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Young, Alisa
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Hankins, Bill
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Inamdar, Anand
    Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICSNC/NOAA/NCEI)
Publishers
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Clouds
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation
Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
  • Atmospheric - Upper-air - Cloud Properties
  • Atmospheric - Upper-air - Earth Radiation Budget
Thesaurus title not available.
  • Hydrology
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • NASA/GSFC/SED/ESD/GISS > Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Earth Sciences Division, Science and Exploration Directorate, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite)
  • POES (Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites)
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • Earth Remote Sensing Instruments, Passive Remote Sensing, Spectrometers/Radiometers, Imaging Spectrometers/Radiometers, Geostationary and Polar Orbiters (AVHRR, AVHRR-2/3)
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Geographic Region > Global
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • ISCCP > International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) Program
  • NOAA OneStop Project
Data Resolution keywords Thesaurus title not available.
  • HXS (10-km, 3-hr)
  • HXG (10-km, 3-hr, global)
  • HGG (100-km, 3-hr)
  • HGH (100-km, monthly)
  • HGM (100-km, monthly)
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Horizontal Data Resolution Keywords
  • 10 km - < 50 km or approximately .09 degree - < .5 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 > Land Surface
  • Vertical Location > Boundary Layer
  • Vertical Location > Troposphere
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Rossow, W.B.; Walker, A.; Golea, V.; Knapp, K. R.; Young, A.; Inamdar A.; Hankins, B.; and NOAA's Climate Data Record Program (2016): International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Climate Data Record, H-Series [indicate subset used] NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [access date]. doi:10.7289/V5QZ281S
  • See the Use Agreement for this CDR available on the CDR dataset page.
  • NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NCEI makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. 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 as a joint effort between NASA Goddard and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and are archived at NCEI. ISCCP was established in 1982 as part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to collect and analyze satellite radiance measurements to infer the global distribution of clouds, their properties, and their diurnal, seasonal, and interannual variations. Data are collected from an international suite of weather satellites and merged into the ISCCP Climate Data Record Product.
Processor
  • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
Processing Steps
  • ISCCP processes data from up to 5 geostationary satellites and 2 polar orbiters at 3-hourly and ~.1 deg temporal and spatial resolutions. The ISCCP analysis combines satellite-measured radiances with the TOVS atmospheric temperature-humidity and snow/ice correlative datasets to obtain information about clouds and the surface. The analysis method first determines the presence or absence of clouds in each individual image pixel and retrieves the radiometric properties of the cloud for each cloudy pixel and of the surface for each clear pixel. The pixel analysis is performed separately for each satellite radiance dataset and the results are reported in the HXS, and HXG data products which have a nominal resolution of ~10 km and 3 hr. The HGG product is produced by summarizing the pixel-level results every 3 hours on an equal-area map grid with 1 deg resolution and merging the results from separate satellites with the TV and S/I datasets to produce global coverage at each time. The HGH and HGM data products are produced by averaging HGG data over each month, first in each of eight 3-hour time intervals individually and then over all eight time intervals to produce a monthly average product.
Processing Environment Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICSNC/NOAA/NCEI)
Processing Documents
    • CDR Source Code
      • CDR Source Code
        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.
    • International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project - Operations Guide Build 5
    • International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project - Calibration Monitoring Manual Build 5, Cal Add-on V1
Source Datasets
  • ISCCP B1U data
    • ISCCP B1U data
      Please see the Landing Page for more information about the ISCCP B1U dataset.
    • Description of Source: The dataset uses B1 data that has been remapped and inter-calibrated to uniform binary files, known as "B1U" data (archived as ancillary data).
    • Temporal extent used: 1982-01-01 to Present
    • Spatial extent used: N:90.0 S:-90.0 E:180.0 W:-180.0
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: 2018-05-04
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov