The agreement in the shape of the distributions is generally better over ocean than over land. (from Stubenrauch et al. Whereas a student may have looked up at the sky before the lesson and said there are a lot of clouds in the sky, after the lesson, the stude… Clouds cover about 70% of the earth's surface. The latter can be interpreted as the amount of all low-level clouds relative to all clouds. Bull. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Rossow, W.B. A. Baum, J. C. Riedi, and R. A. Frey, 2003: The MODIS cloud products: Algorithms and examples from TERRA. About 40% (±3%) of all clouds are single-layered low-level clouds. Meteor. Cloud properties retrieved from measurements of multi-spectral imagers (ISCCP, PATMOS-x, MODIS-ST, MODIS-CE), IR sounders (HIRS-NOAA, TOVS Path-B, AIRS-LMD), multi-angle multi-spectral imagers (ATSR-GRAPE, MISR, POLDER) and active lidar (CALIPSO-ST, CALIPSO-GOCCP) have been included in the GEWEX Cloud Assessment Database, which provides monthly statistics on 1° latitude x 1° longitude grid in netCDF files arranged by cloud property, year, and observation time of day. 3. In addition, the conversion among CP, CT and CZ requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to additional uncertainties. Cloud cover thus plays an important role in the energetic balance of the atmosphere and a variation of it is a consequence of and to the climate change expected by recent studies. Since distributions are not Gaussian and averages depend on sub-sampling prior to retrieval, it is strongly recommended to consider normalized frequency distributions of these variables. Observed cloud data cannot necessarily be compared "apples to apples" with cloud properties estimated by climate models; use of cloud simulator packages like COSP is encouraged. Since there are systematic variations of cloud properties with location on the globe, time of day and season, variations in sampling can introduce changes that are not driven by climate. The CALIPSO lidar is the most sensitive to thin cirrus (including subvisible cirrus) and also gives information on all cloud layers within the atmosphere up to an optical depth of 3. However the retrieval method employed in Collection 5 led to some misidentification of very thin cirrus as low-level clouds. Platnick, S., M. D. King, S. A. Ackerman, W. P. Menzel, B. The CO2 slicing retrieval employed by HIRS-NOAA is not applicable to low-level clouds, while a weighted c2 retrieval of TOVS Path-B and AIRS-LMD may be applied to all clouds. Cloud amount and height-stratified cloud amount. Optical and bulk microphysical properties are only determined for a sub-sample corresponding to clouds with optical depth > 1, and therefore their ice water path is biased high. Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) Water Vapor (day and night) Satellite HD; Archive since 1981; Asia and Australia. Atmos. Specific care has been given to the averaging procedure from instantaneous L2 to monthly, gridded L3 cloud products: 1) averaging the original L2 cloud products over each grid cell (1° x 1°) for each specific local time and 2) averaging these grid cell averages over the month. Climate, 18, 3021-3031. Cloud cover may also influence temperatures at the surface of the planet. Though they vary in shape and size, all clouds are basically formed in the same way through the vertical of air above the condensation level. Meteor. ISCCP DEFINITION OF CLOUD TYPES Cloud Parameter Definitions And Measurement Methods. Most data sets agree on the fact that the land is covered by 0.10-0.15 less cloud than the oceans. Young, 2009: Overview of the CALIPSO Mission and CALIOP Data Processing Algorithms. Cloud optical and bulk microphysical properties. Meteor. The PATMOS-x data show improvement in the identification of cirrus. The GEWEX Cloud Assessment database, created by the participating teams (see below), contains monthly means, variability and distributions of many cloud properties, also stratified by height and thermodynamic phase, and is available at http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca . synergy of different variables and data sets provide invaluable potential for improving our understanding of cloud processes, reduction of uncertainties and further advances by analyzing statistics of mesoscale cloud regimes or weather states, organized according to similar distributions in cloud pressure and optical depth, or of cloud systems constructed from individual cloud measurements according to similar height, Biases are scene related (e.g. Such a cloud would be known as fog, ice fog, or mist.The types of clouds can be divided into three levels, each in turn with its own ma… http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca/index-1.html, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00117.1, The GEWEX Cloud Assessment Database, created by the participating teams (see Technical Notes), contains monthly means, variability and distributions of many cloud properties, also stratified by height and thermodynamic phase, Link to description and download of individual datasets that were used in the database (see also Technical Notes), Stubenrauch, C. J., and Coauthors, 2013: Assessment of Global Cloud Datasets from Satellites: Project and Database Initiated by the GEWEX Radiation Panel. Cloud cover (also known as cloudiness, cloudage, or cloud amount) refers to the fraction of the sky obscured by clouds when observed from a particular location. Cloud cover (also known as cloudiness, cloudage, or cloud amount) refers to the fraction of the sky obscured by clouds when observed from a particular location. In particular, being bright objects in the visible part of the solar spectrum, they efficiently reflect light to space and thus contribute to the cooling of the planet. ISCCP cloud products were designed to characterize essential cloud properties and their variations on all key time scales to elucidate cloud dynamical processes and cloud radiative effects. 1. Only about 15% (±5%) of all clouds are uppermost mid-level clouds. The cloud cover is correlated to the sunshine duration as the least cloudy locales are the sunniest ones while the cloudiest areas are the least sunny places. Historically, cloud reports have come from station or ship observations. The retrieval has been improved for Collection 6. What cloud com­ bination will appear depends on factors such as cur­ rent weather conditions at different levels of the atmosphere. In general, passive remote sensing provides cloud properties as observed from above. White areas represent overcast cloud cover. Passive microwave imagers, like the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E), make use of spectral features sensitive to water vapor and liquid water to estimate cloud liquid water path over ocean (especially if precipitation and drizzle contamination are removed). J. Appl. The list of cloud types groups the main genera as high (cirrus, cirro-), middle (alto-), multi-level (nimbostratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus), and low (stratus, strato-) according to the altitude level or levels at which each cloud is normally found. Shape: Rows of small patchy clouds. These clouds signal that it may rain in the next day or so. Monitoring long-term variations is very difficult with these data sets. The satellite observation era, beginning in the 1980’s and spanning now more than 30 years, allows to capture clouds and their properties over the entire globe and across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. An okta estimates how many eighths of the sky (octo-) is covered in clouds. To illustrate the range due to differing sensor sensitivities and retrieval methodologies, Fig. Oceanic Technol., 26, 2310–2323. J. Cirrostratus - High, flat clouds that might cover the sky making it appear overcast. 2). Partial cloud amount is the fraction of the sky covered by each type or layer of cloud as if it was the only type or layer of cloud in the sky. Infrared (day and night) Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) On the other hand, Africa, the Middle East and Australia are dominated by clear skies. While the global range between these six datasets corresponds to only 0.08 in CA and 20% in CAHR and CALR (Fig. Amer. Satellite HD; Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) Water Vapor (day and night) Volcano Alert (day and night) Fog-Check; Australia and Americas. Soc., 94, 1034-1049. The sum of partial cloud amounts may exceed the total cloud amount or indeed exceed 100% of the sky. Part II: Locating cloud tops. Res., 115, D00H16, doi:10.1029/2009JD012251. Light blue areas to indigo represent a partly cloudy sky condition. The following was submitted by Dr. Claudia Stebenrauch, CNRS, LMB, France, in June 2018: Cloud properties derived from space observations are extremely valuable for climate studies and model evaluation: Multi-spectral imagers are radiometers that measure reflected, emitted and scattered radiation at a few discrete wavelengths, usually from the solar to thermal infrared spectrum. Walther, A., and A. Heidinger, 2012: Implementation of the Daytime Cloud Optical and Microphysical Properties Algorithm (DCOMP) in PATMOS-x. Nadir viewing with cross-track scanning capabilities, they have a spatial resolution from about 0.5 to 7 km (at nadir) and are the only sensors aboard geostationary weather satellites.Multi-spectral imagers aboard SSO satellites are the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR, with 5 spectral channels) and the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS with 36 spectral channels). Showing the forecast for the rest of today and tomorrow, the more opaque the white of the cloud shown, the thicker the cloud cover in that area will be. Meteor. Weather: Typically sunny and cold. Also the cloud amount day-night correction has not been applied, leading to a slight degradation of the original data. Since there are systematic variations of cloud properties with location on the globe, time of day and season, variations in sampling can introduce changes. COSP: Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observation Simulator Package, ISCCP: International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, CERES EBAF: Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF), Combined CloudSat spaceborne radar and CALIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset, CLARA-A1: Cloud properties, surface albedo and surface radiation products based on AVHRR, Extended Edited Synoptic Cloud Reports Archive (EECRA) from Ships and Land Stations Over the Globe, Gridded Climatology of Clouds from Surface Observations Worldwide (1971-2008), NCAR | National Center for Atmospheric Research, Figure 1: Illustration of cloud types distinguished by height and morphology, as initially classified by surface observers (Image credit: Valentin de Bruyn), Figure 2: left: The sketch illustrates the cloud height interpretation in the case of optically thin cirrus overlying low-level clouds (less than 20% of all cloudy scenes according to CALIPSO) when using different instruments. Foster, and A. Walther, 2012: A Naïve Bayesian Cloud Detection Scheme Derived from CALIPSO and Applied within PATMOS-x. [2], Clouds play multiple critical roles in the climate system. Together with the use of polarization the cloud thermodynamic phase can be determined(since non-spherical ice particles depolarize the reflected light less than liquid droplets). However, CAHR shows a spread from 12% to 55%. Visible information (during daytime) is more important for the detection of low-level clouds. They are important components of the cliimate's water and energy budgets. If the cloud cover at a certain point is less than ⅝ of the sky, it is not considered a ceiling. A cloud is a visible accumulation of minute droplets of wate, ice crystals, or both, suspended in the air. On the other hand, in the storm regions of the Southern Hemisphere midlatitudes were found to have with 0.15-0.25 more cloudiness than the global mean at 60°S. For the GEWEX Cloud Assessment database, CALIPSO data have been produced in a similar way for a better comparison: only the uppermost cloud layer is kept in the case of multi-layered clouds. Bulk microphysical properties can be only determined for semi-transparent cirrus. 2012. A summary table of cloud property retrieval characteristics of these datasets can be found in Stubenrauch et al. Figure 1 illustrates cloud types distinguished by cloud base height and morphology, as initially classified by surface observers. Description of data sets:  http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca/index-1.html. At higher latitudes, only 30 - 40% of the high-level clouds are in this category, leading to an average positive bias of about 50 hPa. [3], Cloud cover values only vary by 0.03 from year to year, whereas the local, day to day variability in cloud amount typically rises to 0.3 over the globe. In addition, the individual data sets should be referenced and the Climserv Data Center of IPSL/CNRS should be acknowledged. Last modified 01 Aug 2018. Rossow, W. B., and R. A. Schiffer, 1999: Advances in understanding clouds from ISCCP. source: fun-in-first.blogspot.com. The very sharp peak of PATMOS-x seems to be suspect, though the PATMOS-x retrieval had been trained by CALIPSO data. [6], On a regional scale, it can be also worthy of note that some extensive areas of Earth experience cloudy conditions virtually all time such as South America's Amazon Rainforest while other ones experience clear-sky conditions virtually all time such as Africa's Sahara Desert.[6]. Their success has been shown in many published analyses, also in combination with other observations. Types of Clouds – Describe and make examples of the four … Multi-angle, multi-spectral imagers make measurements of the same scene with different viewing angles, allowing a stereoscopic retrieval of cloud top height. Soc., 94, 1031–1049. Meteor. Effective particle sizes (CRE) influences more the spectral behaviour of emitted to reflected radiation, especially for small particles. Before attributing cloud amount and cloud property changes to climate change, one has to investigate sampling changes and the consistency of the applied ancillary data of the particular data set used. On the other hand, the long path leads to detection of subvisible (very thin) cirrus. A clear sky is 0 oktas, while a totally overcast or gray sky is 8 oktas. Chepfer H., S. Bony, D. Winker, G. Cesana, J. L. Dufresne, P. Minnis, C. J. Stubenrauch, and S. Zeng, 2010: The GCM Oriented Calipso Cloud Product (CALIPSO-GOCCP). Probability - High Temperatures - Low Temperatures - Cloud Cover - Wind - Relative Humidity - Dewpoint - Snowfall SEASONAL FORECASTS - Temperature - Precipitation Limb sounders, such as the spectrometer of theStratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment (SAGE) that measures the solar occultation along the earth’s limb at 4 solar wavelengths,providegood vertical resolution (1 km) at the expense of a low horizontal resolution along the viewing path (about 200 km). Don't float through life not knowing the names of clouds, our latest weather illustration covers the sky. So far only ISCCP cloud properties have been tested by comparing resulting radiative fluxes to those determined from Earth Radiation Budget instruments, revealing excellent quantitative agreement (GEWEX Radiative Flux Assessment). MODIS also has a few channels similar to those of HIRS. Another way to reduce uncertainties is by organizing statistics by mesoscale cloud regimes or weather states (e. g. Jakob and Tselioudis 2003, Tselioudis et al. My Cloud Book Printable – Students fill in the blanks for cumulus, stratus and cirrus clouds. Climatol, Minnis, P., S. Sun-Mack, D. F. Young, P. W. Heck, D. P. Garber, Y. Chen, D. A. Spangenberg, R. F. Arduini, Q. Cirrocumulus… Dark blue areas represent clear skies. These agree quite well, when one considers retrieval filtering or possible biases due to partly cloudy pixels and due to ice-water misidentification. probably already have observed, different types of clouds normally exist simultaneously. While ISCCP, the cloud data record of the GEWEX project, emphases diurnal sampling by using multi-spectral imager data from a combination of geostationary and Sun-synchroneous orbiting (SSO) weather satellites, more recent global cloud data records have been developed from various instruments onboard SSO satellites. Recent Infographics. The types of clouds in the sky include the stratus, cumulus, stratocumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, cirrus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, nimbostratus, and cumulonimbus. The variable atmospheric opacity of the many channels of these IR sounding instruments allows a reliable identification of cirrus (semi-transparent ice clouds), day and night. Statistics over measurements at 1:30 PM LT (3:00 PM for ISCCP). Bull. Geosci. Hendricks J., A. Falb, C. J. Stubenrauch, U. Lohmann, and C. Emde, 2010: A Method for comparing properties of cirrus clouds in global climate models with those retrieved from IR sounder satellite observations. Diner, 2010: MISR Level 3 Cloud Fraction by Altitude Theoretical Basis, JPL D-62358, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 24 pp. The peak position for high-level clouds in the tropics varies from 150 hPa (close to tropopause, PATMOS-X, MODIS-ST, HIRS-NOAA) to 350 hPa (POLDER). Cloud cover fraction This parameter represents the fractional area covered by clouds as observed from above by satellites. Soc., 92, 1023–1043. Amer. Climatol., 51, 1371-1390. Active sensors extend the measurements of passive radiometers to cloud vertical profiles. Stubenrauch C. and coAuthors: 2013: Assessment of Global Cloud Datasets from Satellites: Project and Database initiated by the GEWEX Radiation Panel. Stratus clouds. Climatol., 51, 1129–1144. [2] On average, about 52% of Earth is cloud-covered at any moment. Meteor. Meteorol. Protopapadaki, E.-S., C. J. Stubenrauch, and A. Feofilov, 2017 Upper Tropospheric cloud Systems derived from IR Sounders: Properties of Cirrus Anvils in the Tropics, Atmosph. The cloud cover is correlated to the sunshine duration as the least cloudy locales are the sunniest ones while the cloudiest areas are the least sunny places. J. Geophys. These low-level... Cirrus Clouds: All Is Fair (For Now). a climatology of total cloud cover and the amounts of nine cloud types. Res., 108, 10.1029/2002JD002801. When comparing to climate models, observation time and view from above as well as retrieval filtering have to be taken into account. The global cloud cover averages around 0.68 when analyzing clouds with optical depth larger than 0.1. As a mass of air ascends, the lower Chem. However, the noise for low-level clouds is larger than for the other clouds because of low radiative contrast and of coarse spatial resolution of these instruments. For better comparison to the SSO-based cloud products, ISCCP data, originally given at 3-hourly UTC, represent 6-hourly averages at local observation times around 3:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Since 2006 the CALIPSO lidar and CloudSat radar, together, determine cloud top and base heights of all cloud layers. (from Stubenrauch et al. Even though instantaneous cloud properties may not be very accurate and might include scene dependent biases, the synergy of different variables and data sets provide invaluable potential for improving our understanding of cloud processes. Winker, D. M., M. A. Vaughan, A. H. Omar, Y. Hu, K. A. Powell, Z. Liu, W. H. Hunt, and S. A. The conversion among cloud pressure, temperature and height requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to additional uncertainties. POLDER), it corresponds to a location even deeper inside the cloud. In addition, a few other cloud types are found in higher layers of the atmosphere. 2012), Schematic of common clouds (copyright: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research), Cloud properties derived from space observations provide long-term global data of cloud properties including cloud amount, height, temperature, and radiative and bulk microphysical properties, Synergy of different variables and data sets provide invaluable potential for improving our understanding of cloud processes, Long, gridded data enable characterizations of geographical patterns, seasonal and interannual variability. 19, 577-589. These images do not provide information on the height or the type of clouds. long-term global data of cloud properties (amount, height, temperature, radiative and bulk microphysical properties, across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, geographical patterns, seasonal and interannual variability. "The Climate Data Guide: Cloud Dataset Overview." Cumulus clouds are most noticeable for their fluffy white appearance. Cirrocumulus - These are high clouds that look like tiny cotton balls bunched together. ... Isolated cirrus occur in fair weather. Soc., 72, 2–20. The operational High resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS, with 19 channels in the IR) is a multi-channel radiometer, whereas the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) are infrared spectrometers. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP; Rossow and Schiffer 1991, 1999) adapted this cloud type classification by using cloud top pressure (CP) and optical depth (COD). From 12 % to 55 % of these datasets can be found in Stubenrauch et al, J. Africa, the lower cumulus clouds: all is Fair general, passive remote sensing provides cloud properties observed... 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