New Longwave Radiation Climate Record

Map of Daily Average Upward Longwave Flux at the Top of the Atmosphere

The Outgoing Longwave Radiation–Daily Climate Data Record, provides daily global climate data that are valuable as inputs into radiation budget studies and for verifying numerical models. This map shows daily average upward longwave flux at the top of the atmosphere.

NCDC recently released a new climate data record (CDR) called the “Outgoing Longwave Radiation–Daily Climate Data Record” or OLR–Daily CDR. The daily climate data on outgoing longwave radiation can identify variations in tropical clouds and rainfall that drive global weather patterns.

The OLR–Daily CDR provides radiance observations at 1.0° x 1.0° resolution, creating a consistent long-term climate record of observations since 1979. These CDR data are valuable to meteorologists and researchers in a wide range of applications. With daily high-resolution OLR data, meteorologists in the energy sector can identify variations in tropical rainfall and use them to predict temperatures and heating demand in the United States. Also, climate forecasters use daily OLR data to predict tropical cyclone activity around the globe.

Developed by NOAA and the University of Maryland, the OLR–Daily CDR data are derived from the high-resolution infrared radiation sounder instruments on board NOAA’s TIROS-N series and Eumetsat MetOp polar orbiting satellites and the legacy and present-day imager instruments on board the multinational operational geostationary satellites. New generations of operational sounding instruments on board Suomi–NPP, JPSS, MetOp, and other satellites and imaging instruments on board geostationary satellites will further extend this CDR.

As with all operational CDRs at NCDC, the OLR–Daily 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 OLR–Daily CDR, and learn more about all of NOAA’s CDRs from the Climate Data Record Program.