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PATMOS-x Cloud Properties CDR

Configuration Item ID:  01B-01d

The Pathfinder Atmospheres Extended (PATMOS-x) Cloud Properties Climate Data Record (CDR) provides data for multiple radiance and reflective properties collected by the Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and the High-resolution Infra-Red Sounder (HIRS), and the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) satellite instruments. The data record offers a unique, long-term resource for multi-decadal climate studies. PATMOS-x improved the quality of the dataset by recalibrating and renavigating the data. The resulting CDR supports climate variability studies over the period of record. The final record has global coverage at a 0.1°x0.1° equal angle grid and extends from 1979–present.

PATMOS-X Cloud Properties Graphic

To help the project receive continued support, updates, and improvement, tell us how you use PATMOS-x Cloud Properties CDR data by completing our optional User Registration Form.

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Principal Investigator

Mike Foster, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison


Cite dataset when used as a source. See the dataset's landing page for citation details at doi:10.7289/V5X9287S.


  • Cloud Top Height
  • Cloud Fraction
  • Cloud Emissivity
  • Cloud Top Pressure
  • Cloud Top Temperature

Technical Note

The AVHRR instrument does not have an onboard calibration system for solar reflectance channels (0.63-, 0.86- and 1.6-microns). As a result, the most recent data relies on an extrapolation of the existing calibration (Heidinger et al. 2010). The most recent data contain the word 'preliminary' in the file name to indicate that the values may change slightly as new calibration coefficients become available. Once a file is calibrated, 'preliminary' is removed. Calibration process is performed approximately once a year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. As a result, there is often more than one version of 'preliminary' files for the most recent data. To avoid confusion NCEI archives only the first 'preliminary' version of data until the final version is available. However, the Climate Data Portal at the University of Wisconsin - Madison serves the 'preliminary' version of the data with the most recent calibration available. While the differences tend to be quite small, we include this note to track the specific data used for an application, or in case minor differences in calibration may affect your results.