Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Research article
11 Feb 2013
Research article |  | 11 Feb 2013

An improved cirrus detection algorithm MeCiDA2 for SEVIRI and its evaluation with MODIS

F. Ewald, L. Bugliaro, H. Mannstein, and B. Mayer

Abstract. In this study, a substantially improved version of the Meteosat cirrus detection algorithm (MeCiDA2) will be presented, which now allows application to the full earth disc visible by the Meteosat satellite. As cirrus clouds have an influence on the radiation budget of the earth, their optical properties and their global coverage has to be monitored at the global scale using instruments aboard geostationary satellites. Since MeCiDA was optimised for the area of Europe only, various changes were necessary to handle the variable conditions found over the full Meteosat disc. Required changes include the consideration of the viewing angle dependency and of the sensitivity of the 9.7 μm channel to the ozone column. To this end, a correction is implemented that minimises the influence of the variability of the stratospheric ozone. The evaluation of the proposed improvements is carried out by using MeCiDA applied to MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectrometer) data to address viewing angle-dependent cirrus detection, and by additionally comparing it to the cloud optical properties MOD06 cirrus product. The new MeCiDA version detects less cirrus than the original one for latitudes larger than 40°, but almost the same amount elsewhere. MeCiDA's version for MODIS is more sensitive than that for SEVIRI (spinning enhanced visible and infrared imager) with cirrus occurrences higher by 10%, and the new MeCiDA provides almost the same cirrus coverage (±0.1) as given by the cloud phase optical properties from MODIS for latitudes smaller than 50°. Finally, the influence of sub-pixel clouds on the SEVIRI cirrus detection has been examined: more than 60% of the undetected SEVIRI cirrus pixels have a cirrus coverage smaller than 0.5.