Over the past few decades, substantial progress has been made in the retrieval of surface shortwave radiation from satellite measurements for the Earth’s energy budget as well as solar energy applications. We present a new algorithm to derive the downwelling surface shortwave radiation for the Southwestern US using geostationary satellite products. A look-up table generated by the Goddard Space Flight Center Radiative Transfer Model is employed to derive the shortwave radiation at the ground by comparing observed and modeled top of atmosphere shortwave albedo. The algorithm was compared to ground observation stations at three locations, such as the University of Arizona, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Desert Rock, NV. For all sky conditions, the average values of root-mean-square error between the instantaneous estimates and in situ measurements ranged from 84.2 to 89.4 W m−2 and were 30 W m−2 when evaluated on daily time scales. The error statistics were considerably better for clear sky than for cloudy sky. The average values of instantaneous root-mean-square error for the clear-sky conditions range from 39.4 to 43.7 W m−2, while average root-mean-square error for the cloudy-sky conditions is between 137.0 and 141.2 W m−2.
- satellite-derived downwelling surface shortwave radiation
- solar forecasting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology