GOES Cloud Products and Cloud Studies Anthony J.

GOES Cloud Products and Cloud Studies Anthony J.

GOES Cloud Products and Cloud Studies
Anthony J. Schreiner , Timothy J. Schmit , W. Paul Menzel , Jun Li , James A. Jung , Steven A. Ackerman , Wayne F. Feltz , Robert M. Aune
1

2

1

Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series of satellite platforms includes two Infrared (IR) radiometers, the Imager and the Sounder
instruments. Radiance information has been available for approximately ten years. From 1994 through the present GOES Sounder data are available hourly over
the CONtinental United States (CONUS) and the immediate surrounding waters at approximately 10 km spatial resolution. In 2001 the launch of GOES-12
offered a slightly different suite of spectral bands at approximately four km horizontal resolution. This new Imager instrument replaced the 12.0 m IR dirty
window band with a 13.3 m CO2 absorption band. The Sounder instrument has not modified its suite of 18 IR bands and 1 Visible band since the launch of
GOES-8 in 1994.
Due to its length of service (ten plus years to date), routine data availability (hourly information for the Sounder and thirty minute hemispherical coverage for
the Imager), and spatial resolution (10 and 4 km at the sub-point, respectively for the Sounder and Imager) it is now possible to examine cloud trends over that
period of time. To some extent this has already been done for the GOES Sounder and will be shown over several regions within the GOES Sounder coverage.
Additional diurnal of characteristics of high clouds will also be shown.

GOES Sounder

The
IR
Window
Technique is based on a
simple assumption that
the all clouds have an
ECA of 1.0 (or are
infinitely thick), and
therefore the radiating
temperature of the cloud,
Tbc, in the 11.0 m
region
corresponding
atmospheric temperature
at the top of the cloud are
the same. This technique works well for thick clouds, but is less than perfect
for semi-transparent clouds.

All cloud trends results are based on GOES Sounder radiance data using the CO 2 Absorption
and IR Window Techniques, and High cloudiness is defined as 300 hPa to 100 hPa (Schreiner,
et al. 2001).

Monthly Trends
Monthly Change in Cloudiness over Total Region

100.0
90.0

% All Levels
% Low Cldy
% Mid Cldy
% High Cldy

80.0
70.0
60.0
50.0
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
Jun-03

Aug-03

Oct-03

Dec-03

Feb-04

Apr-04

Jun-04

Aug-04

Month-Year

Monthly Change in Cloudiness over Gulf of Mexico

Per Cent Cloudiness

100.0
90.0

% All Levels

80.0

% Low Cldy
% Mid Cldy

70.0

% High Cldy

60.0
50.0
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
Apr-03

Jun-03

Aug-03

Oct-03

Dec-03

Feb-04

Apr-04

Jun-04

Aug-04

Month-Year

Band
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

Frequency
14.7
14.4
14.0
13.7
13.4
12.7
12.0
11.0
9.7
7.5
7.0
6.5
4.6
4.5
4.4
4.1
4.0
3.8

Spatial Resolution
Temporal Resolution

10 km
60 min

Some Uses
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone, Clouds
Retrieval, Ozone, Clouds
Retrieval, Clouds, Cloud-Clearing
Retrieval, Clouds
Retrieval, Clouds, Cloud-Clearing
Retrieval, Clouds, Snow, Cloud-Clearing
Ozone
Retrieval
Retrieval
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone
Retrieval, Ozone, Snow
Snow, Cloud-Clearing
Snow

Band
1
2
3
(3
4
5
(6

Frequency
Vis
3.9
6.7
6.5
10.7
12.0
13.3

4 km
30 min

Some Uses
Clouds
Snow, fire, fog
Winds
Winds)*
Retrieval, Clouds, Snow, Cloud-Clearing
Retrieval, Clouds, Cloud-Clearing*
Clouds)*

* For GOES-12 Band 3 has been modified, Band 5 eliminated, and Band 6 added.

Verification

During the Atlantic THORPEX Regional Campaign (ATReC, Dec.
2003) cloud top information was measured using a Cloud Physics
Lidar.

80.0
70.0
60.0
50.0
40.0
30.0

% All Levels
% Low Cldy
% Mid Cldy
% High Cldy

20.0
10.0
0.0
Apr-03

Jun-03

Aug-03

Oct-03

Dec-03

Feb-04

Comparisons of lidar measured cloud top height (black) to the GOES12 Imager Cloud Product (red) and GOES-12 Sounder Cloud Product
(blue) along a 5 December 2003 flight track.

Recent results show a strong annual trend of high clouds over the CONUS
using GOES Sounder radiance information.
Annual max of high clouds during the late summer/early fall over the CONUS
is driven by the increased frequency of high clouds in the Gulf of Mexico region.
Diurnal trends can be seen in both the effective cloud amount for high clouds.
It is now possible to determine the change in diurnal cloud trends using either
the GOES Sounder or Imager or both radiance information.

References
Nieman, S.J., J. Schmetz and W.P. Menzel, 1993: A comparison of several techniques to assign heights to cloud tracers. J. Appl. Meteor., 32, 1559-1568.
Schreiner, A.J., T.J. Schmit and W.P. Menzel, 2001: Observations and trends of clouds based on GOES sounder data. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 20349-20363.

Apr-04

Jun-04

Aug-04

Month-Year

Diurnal Trends

Diurnal Change of Effective Cloud Amount over Central Plains for High Clouds Only
70

Winter 1997/98 (#obs. 9,400)

60

50

50

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0
1:30

4:30

7:30

10:30
13:30
Time (LST)

16:30

19:30

22:30

Summer 1998 (#obs. 12,267)

70

1:30

60

50

50

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0
4:30

7:30

10:30

13:30

16:30

19:30

Thin (0

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