Monday, 10 February 2003
GOES Cloud Detection at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center
The bi-spectral threshold (BTH) for cloud detection and height assignment is now operational at NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC). This new approach is similar in principle to the bi-spectral spatial coherence (BSC) method with improvements made to produce a more robust cloud-filtering algorithm for nighttime cloud detection and subsequent 24-hour operational cloud top pressure assignment. The method capitalizes on cloud and surface emissivity differences from the GOES 3.9 and 10.7–micrometer channels to distinguish cloudy from clear pixels. Separate threshold values are determined for day and nighttime detection, and applied to a 20-day minimum composite difference image to better filter background effects and enhance differences in cloud properties. A cloud top pressure is assigned to each cloudy pixel by referencing the 10.7-micrometer channel temperature to a thermodynamic profile from a locally –run regional forecast model. This paper and supplemental poster will present an objective validation of nighttime cloud detection by the BTH approach in comparison with previous methods. The cloud top pressure will be evaluated by comparing to the NESDIS operational CO2 slicing approach.