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Data Access

ISCCP Data Access

Registration is optional. However, providing information on how you use ISCCP data is valuable and important to our team as we strive to justify continued support, updates and improvements.

Which files do I need?

  ISCCP ISCCP_Basic
Target audience Earth science General interest
Mapping Equal area Equal angle
Variables

143 variables
All cloud parameters
Ancillary atmospheric and surface data

48 variables
Basic cloud parameters

Format netCDF netCDF CF Compliant
Access methods

Direct Download
Order from tape

Direct Download
THREDDS

Fair use statement of ISCCP data

ISCCP Data

The primary data products produced by the ISCCP processing of satellite observations are intended for the study of the role of clouds in weather and climate, characterizing cloud properties and their variations that affect the exchanges of solar and terrestrial radiation and are involved in the global hydrological cycle.

You will need the full ISCCP data if you need:

  • All ISCCP cloud variables (especially information about the retrieval process and uncertainties)
  • ISCCP ancillary data (ozone amount, temperature/humidity profiles, aerosol, snow/ice cover)
  • The ISCCP H data in the satellite projection (HXS and HGS)
  • Other retrieved variables (surface reflectance, surface temperature, etc.)
Format ISCCP HGM/HGH ISCCP HGG ISCCP HXG ISCCP HXS
Temporal Monthly averages Instantaneous @ 3 hr intervals Instantaneous @ 3 hr intervals Instantaneous @ 3 hour intervals
Spatial 1 deg equal area 1 deg equal area 0.1 deg equal angle Approx 0.1 deg Satellite projection
Monthly volume ~100 MB ~4 GB ~9000 MB (~9GB) ~70 GB (all satellites
Format netCDF netCDF netCDF binary
Access method Direct download Order from archive Order from archive Order from archive
Sample   Sample file Sample file Sample file

Note: The 3-hourly data are averaged for each synoptic time (8 times per day), producing HGH files. The HGH data are averaged to produce the monthly average data: HGM.

Caveats - This document contains an updated list of caveats and issues known to exist in this release.

The Climate Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (C-ATBD) details the ISCCP cloud detection algorithm.

ISCCP-Basic Data

The ISCCP Basic data are a CF-compliant reformat and subset of the variables from the complete ISCCP dataset that focuses on the most basic cloud parameters (e.g., cloud amount, temperature, optical thickness, etc).

More information on the differences between the ISCCP Basic and the full ISCCP data ISCCPBasicvs.Full-Description.pdf.

  Global Monthly Cloud Properties Global 3-Hourly Cloud Properties
Source Product HGH/HGM HGG
Temporal Monthly averages Instantaneous @ 3 hr intervals
Spatial 1 deg equal angle 1 deg equal angle
Monthly volume ~30 MB ~800 MB
Format netCFD CF complaint netCDF CF compliant
Variables ISCCPHGMHGHBasicVariableList.pdf ISCCPHGGBasicVariableList.pdf
Access method

Direct download
THREDDS

Direct download
THREDDS

Note: The 3-hourly data are averaged for each synoptic time (8 times per day), producing HGH files. The HGH data are averaged to produce the monthly average data: HGM.

THREDDS server

ISCCP HGM and HGG data are also provided via a THREDDS data server which allows subsetting.

Legacy ISCCP data

The ISCCP D series is still available for order through NCEI and described at the NASA ISCCP Page. Interested users can contact NCEI.Sat.Info@noaa.gov to order ISCCP D (legacy) series data (see Rossow and Schiffer 1999 for more information on the ISCCP D series).

Legacy ISCCP data is only available in binary formats.