A ten-year NOAA A VHRR cloud climatology with a horizontal resolution of four km has been compiled over the Scandinavian region based on results from near real-lime cloud classifications of the SMHl SCANDlA mode!. The frequency and geographic distribution ofthe cloud groups Low-, Medium- and High-level clouds, water and ice clouds and deep convective clouds have been studied in addition to the ten-ycar monthly means of total fractional cloud cover in the region. Furthennore, attempts to estimatc the diurnal cycle of cloudiness and typieal cloud patterns in various weather rcgimes (e.g., North Atlantic Oscillation phases) have been made.
The cloud climate in the region was found ta be significantly affected by the distribution of land and sea. In particular. the Baltic Sea was shown to suppress summertime cloudiness substantially and this effect was shown to influence cloud conditions in major parts of the Scandinavian region. Huwever, interesting deviations from this cloudiness pattern were found in the Scandinavian mountain range, in the northern part af Scandinavia and over the Norwegian Sea.
The quality af the satellite-based cloud information was examined by comparing with corresponding surface-observations given by SYNOP-based cloud climatologies for the same period. Results showed good agreement but specific problems were found in winter. In addition, some effects of the degradation of visible AVHRR channels were notieed. Comparisons have also been rnade with internationally used global cloud climate data sets, namely the SYNOP-based CRU data set and the cloud climatologics from the ISCCP D2 series.