+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Ultimate Meteorological Question from Observational Astronomers: How Good is the Cloud Cover Forecast?


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          To evaluate the capability of numerical cloud forecast as a meteorological reference for astronomical observation, we compare the cloud forecast from NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS) model for total, layer and convective cloud with normalized satellite observation from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), for the period of July 2005 to June 2008. In general, the model forecast is consistent with the ISCCP observation. For total cloud cover, our result shows the goodness of the GFS model forecast with a mean error within +/-15% in most areas. The global mean probability of < 30% forecast error (polar regions excluded) declines from 73% to 58% throughout the 180h forecast period, and is more skilled than ISCCP-based climatology forecast up to tau~120h. The comparison on layer clouds reveals a distinct negative regional tendency for low cloud forecast and a questionable positive global tendency for high cloud forecast. Fractional and binary comparisons are performed on convective cloud forecast and revealed the GFS model can only identify less than half of such cloud. In short, our result suggests that the GFS model can provide satisfactory worldwide total cloud forecast up to a week ahead for observation scheduling purpose, but layer and convective cloud forecast is less reliable than the total cloud forecast.

          Related collections

          Author and article information


          Atmospheric, Oceanic and Environmental physics
          Atmospheric, Oceanic and Environmental physics


          Comment on this article