ESA Cloud_cci cloud property datasets retrieved from passive satellite sensors: AVHRR-AM L3C/L3U cloud products - Version 3.0

The Cloud_cci AVHRR-AMv3 dataset (covering 1991-2016) was generated within the Cloud_cci project ( which was funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme (Contract No.: 4000109870/13/I-NB). This dataset is one of the 6 datasets generated in Cloud_cci; all of them being based on passive-imager satellite measurements. This dataset is based on AVHRR (onboard NOAA-12, NOAA-15, NOAA-17, Metop-A) measurements and contains a variety of cloud properties which were derived employing the Community Cloud retrieval for Climate (CC4CL; Sus et al., 2018; McGarragh et al., 2018) retrieval framework. The core cloud properties contained in the Cloud_cci AVHRR-AMv3 dataset are cloud mask/fraction, cloud phase, cloud top pressure/height/temperature, cloud optical thickness, cloud effective radius and cloud liquid/ice water path. Spectral cloud albedo is also included as experimental product. The cloud properties are available at different processing levels: Level-3U (globally gridded, unaveraged data fields) and Level-3C (monthly averages and histograms). Pixel-based uncertainty estimates come along with all properties and are also propagated into Level-3C data. More details on the dataset can be found in Stengel et al. (2020) and in project documentation as listed below. Some examples are shown in Figures 1-3.

Figure 1 AVHRR-AMv3 Level-3U (a, c, e, g) and Level-3C (b, d, f, h) of cloud mask/fraction (a,b), cloud phase/liquid cloud fraction (c,d), optical thickness (e,f) and effective radius (g,h) for June 2008. For the Level-3U examples, the descending nodes of the orbits are shown, which roughly correspond to the daylight portions of the orbits of Metop-A. COT, LWP, IWP and CLA are only shown during daytime conditions. Areas with no valid retrievals in this day/month are grey-shaded. Figure 2 AVHRR-AMv3 cloud-top pressure (a,b), liquid water path (c,d), ice water path (e,f), and spectral cloud albedo at 0.6 μm (g,h) for Level-3U (a, c, e, g) and Level-3C (b, d, f, h) products. Panels (c) and (e) both show the Level-3U cloud water path, which represents liquid water path in liquid cloud pixels and ice water path in ice cloud pixels. Data is for June 2008. Figure 3 AVHRR-AMv3 upwelling shortwave flux at TOA (a,b), upwelling longwave flux at TOA (c,d), downwelling shortwave flux at BOA (e,f), and downwelling longwave flux at BOA (g,h) for Level-3U (a, c, e, g) and Level-3C (b, d, f, h) products. Data is for June 2008. Panels (i-l) show equivalent data for diffuse and total downwelling photosynthetic radiative flux at BOA.

Stengel, Martin1; Sus, Oliver1; Stapelberg, Stefan1; Finkensieper, Stephan1; Würzler, Benjamin1; Philipp, Daniel1; Hollmann, Rainer1; Poulsen, Caroline2
1Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
2Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)


Terms and conditions for use of Cloud_cci data
The CCI datasets held on the Cloud_cci website and DWD HTTPS server may be used by any user for any purpose, with the following terms and conditions:
1) Users of the CCI data are required to acknowledge the ESA Climate Change Initiative and Cloud_cci project together with the individual data providers if the data are used in a presentation or publication. Please also cite any relevant dataset DOIs (see example citation text below).
2) Users of the CCI data are encouraged to interact with the CCI programme on use of the products, and to provide a copy of all reports and publications using the dataset. An offer of co-authorship should be considered, if the CCI data constitute a major component of a scientific publication.
3) Intellectual property rights (IPR) in the CCI data lie with the researchers and organisations producing the data.
4) Liability: No warranty is given as to the quality or the accuracy of the CCI data or its suitability for any use. All implied conditions relating to the quality or suitability of the information, and all liabilities arising from the supply of the information (including any liability arising in negligence) are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.
(By downloading the data you agree to these terms and conditions)

Data access
Daily composite data, global, 0.05° lat/lon (L3U)
Monthly averages and histograms, global, 0.5° lat/lon (L3C)

WGET command to download entire AVHRR-AMv3 L3C dataset:
wget -r -nH -e robots=off --cut-dirs=9 --no-parent --reject="index.html*"

Please contact in case of any question/comment

Stengel, Martin; Sus, Oliver; Stapelberg, Stefan; Finkensieper, Stephan; Würzler, Benjamin; Philipp, Daniel; Hollmann, Rainer; Poulsen, Caroline (2019): ESA Cloud Climate Change Initiative (ESA Cloud_cci) data: Cloud_cci AVHRR-AM L3C/L3U CLD_PRODUCTS v3.0, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), DOI:10.5676/DWD/ESA_Cloud_cci/AVHRR-AM/V003

Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)


European Space Agency (ESA) - Contract No.: 4000109870/13/I-NB