Toward Improved Solar Irradiance Forecasts: Comparison of Downwelling Surface Shortwave Radiation in Arizona Derived from Satellite with the Gridded Datasets

Chang Ki Kim, William F. Holmgren, Michael Stovern, Eric Betterton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The downwelling surface shortwave radiation derived from geostationary satellite imagery was compared with the available datasets for the Southwestern United States. The averaged root mean square errors for our instantaneous estimates ranged from 95.0 to 122.7 W m−2, which is lower than those derived from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) products were used to compare the hourly mean solar insolation. The three hourly mean downwelling surface shortwave radiation was evaluated by comparing the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) products. Our estimates show the better performance than MERRA, NARR and CERES datasets because of coarse resolution that limits determining the solar dimming due to small clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2929-2943
Number of pages15
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016



  • GOES-15
  • satellite derived downwelling surface shortwave radiation
  • solar forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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