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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(6), 5124-5150; doi:10.3390/rs6065124

Daytime Low Stratiform Cloud Detection on AVHRR Imagery

1
Geographisches Institut der Universität Bern (GIUB), CH-3012 Bern, Hallerstrasse 12, Switzerland
2
Oeschger-Zentrum für Klimaforschung, Universität Bern, Zähringerstrasse 25, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 26 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
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Abstract

The near-real time retrieval of low stratiform cloud (LSC) coverage is of vital interest for such disciplines as meteorology, transport safety, economy and air quality. Within this scope, a novel methodology is proposed which provides the LSC occurrence probability estimates for a satellite scene. The algorithm is suited for the 1 × 1 km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data and was trained and validated against collocated SYNOP observations. Utilisation of these two combined data sources requires a formulation of constraints in order to discriminate cases where the LSC is overlaid by higher clouds. The LSC classification process is based on six features which are first converted to the integer form by step functions and combined by means of bitwise operations. Consequently, a set of values reflecting a unique combination of those features is derived which is further employed to extract the LSC occurrence probability estimates from the precomputed look-up vectors (LUV). Although the validation analyses confirmed good performance of the algorithm, some inevitable misclassification with other optically thick clouds were reported. Moreover, the comparison against Polar Platform System (PPS) cloud-type product revealed superior classification accuracy. From the temporal perspective, the acquired results reported a presence of diurnal and annual LSC probability cycles over Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: low clouds; stratus; fog; AVHRR; LSC; probability low clouds; stratus; fog; AVHRR; LSC; probability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Musial, J.P.; Hüsler, F.; Sütterlin, M.; Neuhaus, C.; Wunderle, S. Daytime Low Stratiform Cloud Detection on AVHRR Imagery. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 5124-5150.

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