354 Improved Cloud Detection using NOAA 18 AVHRR Data and Comparison with CERES-MODIS cloud mask and CALIPSO Vertical Feature Mask

Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Qing Z. Trepte, SSAI, Hampton, VA; and K. M. Bedka, C. R. Yost, and P. Minnis

In climate and Earth energy budget studies, understanding the presence and distribution of clouds is an essential first step. AVHRR measurements comprise the longest record of imager data from a common instrument for remote sensing of cloud and radiation properties. The NASA LaRC AVHRR cloud mask is a global cloud detection algorithm used as part of the Climate Data Record (CDR) project initiated by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The objective of CDR program is to provide climate information derived from weather satellite data for more than 30 years.

Recent improvements in the LaRC AVHRR cloud mask include detecting more daytime small cumulus and thin Cirrus in tropical oceans, especially over Sun Glint regions, better discrimination between polar clouds and snow ice surfaces including nighttime over Antarctica where 3.7 ┬Ám signals are noisy, and enhancement of nighttime ocean thin Cirrus and low clouds detection.

Monthly averaged global and zonal cloud fractions from improved NOAA 18 AVHRR cloud mask compare well with CERES-MODIS Edition 4 (CM Ed4), MODIS team, and CALIPSO cloud mask. Spatially and temporally matched cloud detection statistics between NOAA 18 AVHRR and CALIPSO cloud mask will also be presented.

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