ISCCP Clouds

Glenn H. White

Glenn.White@NOAA.GOV



This page presents a monthly mean climatology of cloud estimates from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) averaged over 1984-90. Total, high, middle and low cloud amounts are given. In comparing this climatology to the NCEP global model's clouds, two factors should be remembered. First, the NCEP model's clouds are tuned to Air Force nephanalyses, not to ISCCP clouds. Air Force nephanalyses give a somewhat different picture of clouds than ISCCP and it is not known to me whether either set of clouds has been shown to be superior. ISCCP clouds do seem to be more widely used. Second, the division into high, middle and low may not be the same in ISCCP clouds and in the NCEP model. It is hoped that the ISCCP cloud patterns, if not always the magnitudes, will prove useful in improving the NCEP model's clouds. The standard deviations shown reflect the variability of a particular month form year to year. The zonal means are plotted with dashed lines representing the monthly mean plus or minus one standard deviation.



Total High` Middle Low
Mean, sd Zonal Mean Zonal Mean Zonal Mean Zonal
January January January January January January January January
February February February February February February February February
March March March March March March March March
April April April April April April April April
May May May May May May May May
June June June June June June June June
July July July July July July July July
August August August August August August August August
September September September September September September September September
October October October October October October October October
November November November November November November November November
December December December December December December December December