18 October 1996 Variability of marine stratiform clouds derived from GOES-8 imagery
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Marine statiform clouds (MSC) cover large areas of the globe that are visible to GOES. The operational satellite cloud retrieval algorithms are prone to biases when analyzing MSC, due to the often sub-pixel size cloud elements and radiative temperatures close to that of the underlying ocean. For example, the relatively large pixel size and calibration drifts in GOES-7 imagery have made it difficult to extract unbiased MSC properties using thermal threshold techniques. Here, we apply a novel retrieval approach to the two important MSC regimes which can be monitored well from the GOES-8 satellite: the Pacific Ocean just west of California/Baja and Peru/Chile. MSC cloud parameters for these areas are retrieved together with surface temperature and column water vapor in a temporally and spatially consistent manner that is insensitive to sensor resolution and calibration errors. Semi-operational analysis of GOES-8 imagery began in December 1995. So, the main focus is on assessing the diurnal variability of MSC. Following a brief description of the retrieval technique, we present initial results describing the full diurnal cycle of MSC fractional cloud cover and cloud top temperature, monitored using the single-channel version of the algorithm. In addition, we address the daytime variability of other important cloud parameters using a bispectral extension of the retrieval scheme. The results are also compared with other pertinent MSC analyses.
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Gyula Molnar, Dennis Chesters, "Variability of marine stratiform clouds derived from GOES-8 imagery", Proc. SPIE 2812, GOES-8 and Beyond, (18 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.254132; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.254132

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