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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(12), 12866-12884; doi:10.3390/rs61212866

The Impact of Time Difference between Satellite Overpass and Ground Observation on Cloud Cover Performance Statistics

Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Climate Services, Operation Center 1, P.O. Box 257, CH-8058 Zürich-Flughafen, Switzerland
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Received: 20 October 2014 / Revised: 8 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol and Cloud Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Cloud property data sets derived from passive sensors onboard the polar orbiting satellites (such as the NOAA’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) have global coverage and now span a climatological time period. Synoptic surface observations (SYNOP) are often used to characterize the accuracy of satellite-based cloud cover. Infrequent overpasses of polar orbiting satellites combined with the 3- or 6-h SYNOP frequency lead to collocation time differences of up to 3 h. The associated collocation error degrades the cloud cover performance statistics such as the Hanssen-Kuiper’s discriminant (HK) by up to 45%. Limiting the time difference to 10 min, on the other hand, introduces a sampling error due to a lower number of corresponding satellite and SYNOP observations. This error depends on both the length of the validated time series and the SYNOP frequency. The trade-off between collocation and sampling error call for an optimum collocation time difference. It however depends on cloud cover characteristics and SYNOP frequency, and cannot be generalized. Instead, a method is presented to reconstruct the unbiased (true) HK from HK affected by the collocation differences, which significantly (t-test p < 0.01) improves the validation results. View Full-Text
Keywords: validation; collocation; SYNOP; AVHRR; sampling error; cloud retrieval; ESA-Cloud-CCI; APCADA; skill score; Hanssen-Kuiper’s discriminant validation; collocation; SYNOP; AVHRR; sampling error; cloud retrieval; ESA-Cloud-CCI; APCADA; skill score; Hanssen-Kuiper’s discriminant
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bojanowski, J.S.; Stöckli, R.; Tetzlaff, A.; Kunz, H. The Impact of Time Difference between Satellite Overpass and Ground Observation on Cloud Cover Performance Statistics. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 12866-12884.

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