For the nowcasting and very short range weather forecasting, the near-real time availability of high resolution cloud products is essential.

EARS-NWC Cloud Type image (tn)

The EARS-NWC derives cloud products from the AVHRR instrument data, collected from the Primary Morning Orbit and Primary Afternoon Orbit satellites via a network of AHRPT/HRPT stations, and retransmits them via EUMETCast.

The three cloud products of the EARS-NWC service complement the cloud products from geostationary-satellites like MSG, especially for the high-latitudes where the coverage from the geo-stationary orbit is limited. The distributed products are:

  • Cloud Mask (CM)
  • Cloud Type (CT)
  • Cloud Top Temperature and Height (CTTH)

EARS-NWC Service Specification


Geographical coverage

EARS NWC Geographical Coverage Map Core

Satellites supported

N19, Metop-B and Metop-C*, as shown on the tables on the Regional Data Service/EARS webpage.
*Metop-C data are currently in trial dissemination mode.

Product Processing

AAPP as provided by the NWP-SAF and PPS as provided by NWC-SAF, configured and run by EUMETSAT.

Product Segmentation

Segments each containing one minute of observations.

Duplicate segments removed before dissemination.

Products via EUMETCast Europe

Cloud products derived for each segment:

  • Cloud Type (including cloud phase flag and processing flag)
  • Cloud Top Temperature & height (height, pressure, temperature), including processing flag — both for opaque and for semi-transparent clouds.
  • Cloud Mask (aerosol flag only).

Geo-location information represented as tie-points contained in the products. All products on original instrument grid, netCDF4 format, bz2-compressed.

Timeliness via EUMETCast

30 minutes.

Products via RMDCN/GTS


Archived in EUMETSAT

All disseminated products.

Further information

For more information on EARS-NWC see TD 14 - EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service Technical Description (PDF,2 MB)

Full details on products can be found in the Product Navigator:
EARS Cloud Mask – Multimission
EARS Cloud Top Temperature & Height – Multimission
EARS Cloud Type – Multimission

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