13th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Spatially Varying Spectral Thresholds for MODIS Cloud Detection

Stephanie L. Haines, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and G. J. Jedlovec and F. J. LaFontaine

The EOS science team has developed an elaborate global MODIS cloud detection procedure, and the resulting MODIS product (MOD35) is used in the retrieval process of several geophysical parameters to mask out clouds. While the global application of the cloud detection approach appears quite robust, the product has some shortcomings on the regional scale, often over determining clouds in a variety of settings, particularly at night. This over-determination of clouds can cause a reduction in the spatial coverage of MODIS derived clear-sky products. To minimize this problem, a new regional cloud detection method for use with MODIS data has been developed at NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC). The approach is similar to that used by the GHCC for GOES data over the continental United States. Several spatially varying thresholds are applied to MODIS spectral data to produce a set of tests for detecting clouds. The thresholds are valid for each MODIS orbital pass, and are derived from 20-day composites of GOES channels with similar wavelengths to MODIS. This paper and accompanying poster will introduce the GHCC MODIS cloud mask, provide some examples, and present some preliminary validation.

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Poster Session 7, Retrievals and Cloud Products: Part 1
Thursday, 23 September 2004, 9:30 AM-11:00 AM

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