'Cloudiest Year' Study: An Analysis of the 3DNEPH and RTNEPH Databases
AIR WEATHER SERVICE SCOTT AFB IL
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Nephanalysis data from the Air Force Global Weather Centrals AFGWCs two nephanalysis models 3-Dimensional Nephanalysis, or 3DNEPH, and Real-Time Nephanalysis, or RTNEPH has been archived by USAFETACs Operating Location A at Asheville, NC, since 1973. It has been used and applied by USAFETAC analysts since the data became part of the Air Weather Services overall operational database. USAFETAC is frequently asked how one years nephanalysis data compares with another in terms of global cloudiness. Up to now, that question hasnt been answered because of the immensity of the 3DNEPH and RTNEPH databases. But by combining new technologies with a scheme to reduce data volume, USAFETACDOS was recently able to rank data by years and months to determine the existence or non-existence of so-called cloudiest periods. The study, the results of which are documented here, used 3DNEPH and RTNEPH data from 1977 to 1991 to determine the years and months with maximum mean total cloudiness.