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Title: ARM: Fractional cloud cover, clear-sky and all-sky shortwave flux for each of 25 individual SGP facilities.

Fractional cloud cover, clear-sky and all-sky shortwave flux for each of 25 individual SGP facilities.
Publication Date:
DOE Contract Number:
Product Type:
Research Org(s):
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
54 Environmental Sciences; Cloud fraction; Longwave broadband downwelling irradiance; Shortwave broadband diffuse downwelling irradiance; Shortwave broadband direct downwelling irradiance; Shortwave broadband total downwelling irradiance; Surface albedo
OSTI Identifier:
  1. ARM focuses on obtaining continuous measurements—supplemented by field campaigns—and providing data products that promote the advancement of climate models. ARM data include routine data products, value-added products (VAPs), field campaign data, complementary external data products from collaborating programs, and data contributed by ARM principal investigators for use by the scientific community. Data quality reports, graphical displays of data availability/quality, and data plots are also available from the ARM Data Center. Serving users worldwide, the ARM Data Center collects and archives approximately 20 terabytes of data per month. Datastreams are generally available for download within 48 hours.
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  1. Gridded (0.25 x 0.25 lat/lon) fractional cloud cover, clear-sky and all-sky shortwave flux over the SGP site.
  2. Surface synoptic weather reports from ships and land stations worldwide were processed to produce a global cloud climatology which includes: total cloud cover, the amount and frequency of occurrence of nine cloud types within three levels of the troposphere, the frequency of occurrence of clearmore » sky and of precipitation, the base heights of low clouds, and the non-overlapped amounts of middle and high clouds. Synoptic weather reports are made every three hours; the cloud information in a report is obtained visually by human observers. The reports used here cover the period 1971-96 for land and 1954-2008 for ocean. This digital archive provides multi-year monthly, seasonal, and annual averages in 5x5-degree grid boxes (or 10x10-degree boxes for some quantities over the ocean). Daytime and nighttime averages, as well as the diurnal average (average of day and night), are given. Nighttime averages were computed using only those reports that met an "illuminance criterion" (i.e., made under adequate moonlight or twilight), thus minimizing the "night-detection bias" and making possible the determination of diurnal cycles and nighttime trends for cloud types. The phase and amplitude of the first harmonic of both the diurnal cycle and the annual cycle are given for the various cloud types. Cloud averages for individual years are also given for the ocean for each of 4 seasons, and for each of the 12 months (daytime-only averages for the months). [Individual years for land are not gridded, but are given for individual stations in a companion data set, CDIAC's NDP-026D).] This analysis used 185 million reports from 5388 weather stations on continents and islands, and 50 million reports from ships; these reports passed a series of quality-control checks. This analysis updates (and in most ways supercedes) the previous cloud climatology constructed by the authors in the 1980s. Many of the long-term averages described here are mapped on the University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences Web site. The Online Cloud Atlas containing NDP-026E data is available via the University of Washington. « less
  3. This data base presents monthly sunshine data from 240 U.S. stations (including Puerto Rico and nine Pacific Islands) and monthly cloud amount data from 197 U.S. stations. The longest periods of record are 1891 through 1987 for the sunshine data and 1871 through 1987 formore » the cloud data. The sunshine data were derived from measurements taken by a variety of sunshine-recording instruments. The cloud data were derived from land-based estimates of fractional cloud amount, which were made with observation practices that have varied during the period of record. Station number, station name, latitude, and longitude are given for all stations in each network. The sunshine data include monthly and annual total hours of recorded sunshine, monthly and annual maximum possible hours of sunshine, monthly and annual percentages of possible sunshine (hours recorded/hours possible), and dates of use for specific types of sunshine recorders at each station. The cloud data contain monthly and annual cloud amount (in percent of sky cover). « less
  4. Surface synoptic weather reports for 39 years have been processed to provide a climatology of clouds for each of over 5000 land-based weather stations with long periods of record both day and night. For each station, this digital archive includes: multi-year annual, seasonal and monthlymore » averages for day and night separately; seasonal and monthly averages by year; averages for eight times per day; and analyses of the first harmonic for the annual and diurnal cycles. Averages are given for total cloud cover, clear-sky frequency, and 9 cloud types: 5 in the low level (fog, St, Sc, Cu, Cb), 3 in the middle level (Ns, As, Ac) and one in the high level (all cirriform clouds combined). Cloud amounts and frequencies of occurrence are given for all types. In addition, non-overlapped amounts are given for middle and high cloud types, and average base heights are given for low cloud types. Nighttime averages were obtained by using only those reports that met an "illuminance criterion" (i.e., made under adequate moonlight or twilight), thus making possible the determination of diurnal cycles and nighttime trends for cloud types.The authors have also produced an online, gridded atlas of the cloud observations contained in NDP-026D. The Online Cloud Atlas containing NDP-026D data is available via the University of Washington. « less
  5. Routine, synoptic surface weather reports from ships and land stations over the entire globe, for the10-year period December 1981 through November 1991, were processed for total cloud cover and the frequencies of occurrence of clear sky, sky-obscured due to precipitation, and sky-obscured due to fog.more » Archived data, consisting of various annual, seasonal and monthly averages, are provided in grid boxes that are typically 2.5° × 2.5° for land and 5° × 5° for ocean. Day and nighttime averages are also given separately for each season. Several derived quantities, such as interannual variations and annual and diurnal harmonics, are provided as well. This data set incorporates an improved representation of nighttime cloudiness by utilizing only those nighttime observations for which the illuminance due to moonlight exceeds a specified threshold. This reduction in the night-detection bias increases the computed global average total cloud cover by about 2%. The impact on computed diurnal cycles is even greater, particularly over the oceans where it is found (in contrast to previous surface-based climatologies), that cloudiness is often greater at night than during the day. « less