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International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) B1 Data

NCEI is the central archive for the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), which began collecting data in July of 1983. Since then, the project has expanded to incorporate data from many different satellites. ISCCP receives data from a global network of Satellite Processing Centers (SPCs) that sample full resolution data to approximately 10km and 3 hourly resolution before sending it to NCEI for archive.

ISCCP Geostationary Equator Coverage by Year and Satellite

Access Methods

ISCCP-B1 data were remapped and calibrated as Gridded Satellite (GridSat) B1 data. We recommended using this data. If the GridSat B1 dataset does not meet your needs, contact NCEI for access to ISCCP-B1 data. 


When possible, please cite Knapp (2008) when using the ISCCP-B1 data or other ISCCP-B1 imagery or GIBBS imagery in a publication or website.

Knapp, K. R., 2008: Scientific data stewardship of International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project B1 global geostationary observations. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 2, 023548, doi:10.1117/1.3043461.

ISCCP Cloud Products

The B1 data are used in a reprocessed ISCCP cloud product called ISCCP-H, which is available at a higher resolution (gridded products change from 2.5 degree to 1 degree spatial resolution). ISCCP-H is produced as a joint effort between NCEI and CICS-NC. 

More Information

Information on geostationary satellites available for ISCCP processing.

Footnotes*Average satellite subpoint over its lifetime¹ Loaned to Japanese Meteorological Agency to replace aging GMS-5² Loaned to NOAA to supplement GOES-7 coverage over the western hemisphere³ Operational support for the INDOEX experiment at 63°E
SatelliteLaunch DatePrimary
Period of
GOES-51981/05/22-75°1983/07/01-1984/07/30Visible & IR
GOES-61983/04/28-135°1983/09/30-1989/01/24Visible & IR
GOES-71987/02/26-100°1987/03/25-1996/01/17Visible & IR
GOES-81994/04/13-75°1994/11/30-2003/03/31All Imager Bands
GOES-91995/05/23-135°1996/01/01-1998/07/27All Imager bands
GOES-9¹1995/05/23155°2003/04/25-2005/10/01All Imager Bands
GOES-101997/04/25-135°1998/07/21-2006/06/21All Imager Bands
GOES-112000/05/03-135°2006/06/21-2011/12/06All Imager Bands
GOES-122001/07/23-75°2003/04/01-2010/04/14All Imager Bands
GOES-132006/05/24-75°2010/04/14-2018/01/08All Imager Bands
GOES-152010/03/04-135°2011/12/06-2020/03/02All Imager Bands
GOES-162016/11/19-75°2018/01/01-currentAll ABI Bands
GOES-172018/03/1-135°2018/12/04-currentAll ABI Bands
MET-21981/06/191983/08/31-2020/03/02Visible, WV & IR
MET-31988/06/151988/08/24-1989/06/19Visible, WV & IR
MET-3²1988/06/15-70°1992/09/11-1995/01/29Visible, WV & IR
MET-41989/03/061989/06/19-1994/02/04Visible, WV & IR
MET-51994/04/131994/01/01-1997/02/01Visible, WV & IR
MET-5³1994/04/1363°1998/06/01-2007/04/16Visible, WV & IR
MET-61993/11/201997/02/13-2000/01/20Visible, WV & IR
MET-71997/09/021998/05/31-2017/04/04Visible, WV & IR
MET-7³1997/09/0263°2007/04/16-currentVisible, WV & IR
MET-82002/07/282005/01/01-2007/05/10All MSG Bands
MET-82002/07/2841.5°2017/02/10-currentAll MSG Bands
MET-92005/12/212007/05/10-2013/01/20All MSG Bands
MET-102012/07/052013/01/20-2018/02/20All MSG Bands
MET-112015/07/152018/02/20-currentAll MSG Bands
GMS-11977/07/14140°1984/01/21-1984/06/29Visible & IR
GMS-21981/08/11140°1983/06/30-1984/09/26Visible & IR
GMS-31984/08/03140°1984/09/27-1989/12/03Visible & IR
GMS-41989/09/06140°1989/12/04-1995/06/12Visible & IR
GMS-51995/03/18140°1995/06/13-2003/05/21Visible, WV & IR
MTS-12005/02/26140°2005/10/01-2010/06/30Visible, WV & IR
MTS-22006/02/18140°2010/06/30-2015/07/06Visible, WV & IR
HIM-82014/10/07141°2015/07/07-presentAll AHI Bands


Global ISCCP B1 Browse System (GIBBS)

GIBBS provides access to global geostationary satellite data from nearly every location on Earth at three hourly intervals from 1980–present. More than one million images are available.

GIBBS Imagery


When possible, please cite Knapp (2008) when using the GIBBS imagery, the "GEO-Quilt" or other ISCCP-B1 imagery in a publication or website.

Knapp, K. R., 2008: Scientific data stewardship of International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project B1 global geostationary observationsJournal of Applied Remote Sensing, 2, 023548, non-gonvernment domain. doi:10.1117/1.3043461

Infrared Image Color Scales

Infrared imagery is displayed on a color scale that correlates with temperatures observed by the satellite. NCEI provides access to high resolution versions for publication (e.g., encapsulated postscript (EPS) for a published report or paper).

Infrared Window Color Scale

The Infrared Window Color Scale for ISCCP satellite images

Infrared Water Vapor Color Scale

The Infrared Water Vapor Scale for ISCCP satellite images

Contact Information

Contact customer service with any questions about the ISCCP-B1 data or GIBBS imagery.


Project History

Data Rescue

The ISCCP B1 data figuratively sat on a shelf at NCEI until data rescue efforts began in 2003. By then,  data were for most part unusable because of unknown or outdated storage formats and non-existent read/write routines. Over many years, NCEI developed new read and navigation algorithms for all B1 data. Along the way, gaps in the inventory were discovered and subsequently filled by SPCs and NCEI. The B1 data rescue was successful and has resulted in the use of ISCCP B1 data in numerous scientific endeavors.

Data Backfilling

NCEI has recreated B1 data for dates before the start of ISCCP data collection (July 1, 1983). This involved retrieving data from the NOAA Comprehensive Large Array-Data Stewardship System (CLASS), subsampling the full resolution data to the B1 level, then checking the quality using B1 processing algorithms. EUMETSAT (Europe) and JMA (Japan) kindly performed similar steps providing early B1 data for Meteosat-2 and GMS-1. The result of the backfilling extended the beginning of ISCCP B1 coverage from July 1983 to as early as 1978 for some satellites.

Peer Reviewed

  • Knapp, K. R., 2008: Calibration of long-term geostationary infrared observations using HIRS. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 5 (2), 183-195. doi:10.1175/2007JTECHA910.1.
  • Knapp, K. R., J. J. Bates and B. Barkstrom, 2007: Scientific Data Stewardship: Lessons from a satellite data rescue effort. Bulletin of the AMS, 88 (9), 1359-1361. doi:10.1175/BAMS-88-9-1359.

ISCCP B1 Related work

  • Knapp, K. R. and J. P. Kossin, 2007: New global tropical cyclone data from ISCCP B1 geostationary satellite observations. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 1, 013505. doi:10.1117/1.2712816 | PDF
  • Kossin, J. P., D. J. Vimont, K. R. Knapp, and R. J. Murnane, 2006:
    A Reanalysis of Global Hurricane Trends. Geophy. Res. Lett., 34, L04815. doi:10.1029/2006GL028836 | PDF from J. Kossin