The NASA Aqua MODIS and Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) climate data record continuity cloud properties products (CLDPROP) were publicly released in April 2019 with an update later that year (Version 1.1). These cloud products, having heritage with the NASA Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) MOD06 cloud optical properties product and the NOAA GOES-R Algorithm Working Group (AWG) Cloud Height Algorithm (ACHA), represent an effort to bridge the multispectral imager records of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) and NOAA’s current generation of operational weather satellites to achieve a continuous, multi-decadal climate data record for clouds that can extend well into the 2030s. CLDPROP offers a “continuity of approach,” applying common algorithms and ancillary datasets to both MODIS and VIIRS, including utilizing only a subset of spectral channels available on both sensors to help mitigate instrument differences. The initial release of the CLDPROP_MODIS and CLDPROP_VIIRS data records spans the SNPP observational record (2012-present). Here, we present an overview of the algorithms and an evaluation of the intersensor continuity of the core CLDPROP_MODIS and CLDPROP_VIIRS cloud optical property datasets, i.e., cloud thermodynamic phase, optical thickness, effective particle size, and derived water path. The evaluation includes analyses of pixel-level MODIS/VIIRS co-locations as well as spatial and temporal aggregated statistics, with a focus on identifying and understanding the root causes of individual dataset discontinuities. The results of this evaluation will inform future updates to the CLDPROP products and help scientific users determine the appropriate use of the product datasets for their specific needs.
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