New Cloud Properties Climate Data Record

Cloud Thickness Map from the AVHRR Cloud Properties – PATMOS-x Climate Data Record

The “AVHRR Cloud Properties – PATMOS-x Climate Data Record,” provides daily global climate data that are valuable as inputs for Aviation Safety studies and climate analyses. This map shows cloud optical thickness.

A new climate data record (CDR) of cloud properties provides daily global cloud information at 10-km (7-mi) resolution, creating a consistent long-term climate record of observations since 1978. These CDR data are valuable to meteorologists, climate modelers, and researchers in a wide range of applications. For example, high-resolution cloud data can help develop and improve planning for solar energy usage. Also, understanding how cloud cover changes through time and space will help further improve climate modeling.

The data are derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument which has flown on numerous NOAA satellites since 1979.  The Pathfinder Atmospheres Extended (PATMOS-x) algorithm derives cloud information from AVHRR data. Developed by NOAA and the University of Wisconsin, this AVHRR Cloud Properties – PATMOS-x CDR contains variables, including cloud-top height, cloud-top temperature, cloud-top pressure, cloud optical depth, and cloud particle size.

As with all operational CDRs at NCDC, the AVHRR Cloud Properties – PATMOS-x CDR meets rigorous standards recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and other expert bodies to help ensure consistent, reliable, and scientifically defensible products.

Visit the Operational Climate Data Records page to access the AVHRR Cloud Properties – PATMOS-x CDR, and learn more about all of NOAA’s CDRs from the Climate Data Record Program.