Assessment of the Reprocessed Suomi NPP VIIRS Enterprise Cloud Mask Product
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The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite continually provides global observations used to retrieve over 20 VIIRS Environmental Data Record (EDR) products. Among them, the cloud mask product is essential for many other VIIRS EDR products such as aerosols, ocean color, and active fire. The reprocessed S-NPP VIIRS Sensor Data Record (SDR) data produced by NOAA/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) have shown improved stability and consistency. Recently, the VIIRS Enterprise Cloud Mask (ECM) has been reprocessed using the reprocessed VIIRS SDR data. This study assesses the reprocessed ECM product by comparing the reprocessed cloud mask types and cloud probability with those from the operational VIIRS ECM product. It found that the overall differences are small. Most of the discrepancies occur between neighboring types at the cloud edge. These findings help lay the foundation for the user community to understand the reprocessed ECM product. In addition, due to the better quality of the reprocessed VIIRS SDR data that are utilized to generate the reprocessed ECM product, it is expected that the reprocessed ECM product will have better stability and consistency compared to the operational ECM products. Therefore, the reprocessed ECM product is a useful benchmark for the user community.