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Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): TOVS Polar Pathfinder gridded daily and monthly Arctic atmospheric soundings (1979-1998)

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2007-02-06
Download Stats: last 12 months


Derived from the global TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) data set, the TOVS Polar Pathfinder provides users with gridded daily and monthly arctic atmospheric soundings. Since 1979, TOVS has been a vital tool for weather forecasting, supplying users with information on the vertical distribution of temperature and moisture in the global atmosphere. TOVS has been particularly useful in providing atmospheric soundings over regions where in situ measurements are sparse.

TOVS Polar Pathfinder data were obtained using a modified version of the Improved Initialization Inversion Algorithm to identify geophysical parameters in snow- and ice-covered areas. The data set has been designed to address the particular needs of the polar research community, and includes quantities used to compute surface turbulent fluxes and drive ocean models.

Variables retrieved from satellite observed radiances for this product include atmospheric temperature profiles, water vapor, surface (skin) temperature, total effective cloud fraction, cloud top pressure, cloud top temperature, turning angle between geostrophic wind and surface stress over ice, emissivity, boundary layer stratification and geostrophic drag coefficient.

TOVS data coverage spans July 7, 1979 through December 31, 1996 at a resolution of 100 km. Sample products for four selected dates in 1988 are included on this CD-ROM.

Citable as:  National Snow and Ice Data Centre; Francis, J.; Schweiger, A. (2007): Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): TOVS Polar Pathfinder gridded daily and monthly Arctic atmospheric soundings (1979-1998). NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: PPSM-TOVS


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

CD-ROM data produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre and published in 2000. Data are stored at the BADC.

Data Quality:
File Format:
Data are HDF formatted. Movies are MPG formatted.

Related Documents

 PPSM TOVS data documentation

Process overview

This dataset was generated by a combination of instruments deployed on platforms and computations as detailed below.

Mobile platform operations

Mobile Platform Operation 1 Mobile Platform Operation for: NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES)

Computation Element: 1

Title deployed on NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES)
Abstract This computation involved: deployed on NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES).
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description None
  • long_name: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_keyword: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Air Temperature,
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Albedo
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo,
  • long_name: Atmospheric Stability
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Atmospheric Stability
  • names:, Atmospheric Stability
  • long_name: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • names: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • gcmd_keyword: Brightness Temperature
  • long_name: Brightness Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Brightness Temperature,
  • long_name: Cloud Amount
  • names: Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Cloud Fraction
  • names: Cloud Fraction
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Pressure
  • long_name: Cloud Top Pressure
  • names: Cloud Top Pressure,
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Temperature
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Cloud Top Temperature,
  • long_name: Emissivity
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Emissivity
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Emissivity,
  • long_name: Frequency
  • names: Frequency
  • long_name: Geostrophic Drag Co-Efficient
  • names: Geostrophic Drag Co-Efficient
  • long_name: Ice
  • names: Ice
  • long_name: Ice Extent
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Extent
  • names: Ice Extent,
  • long_name: Ice Growth
  • names: Ice Growth
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Temperature
  • long_name: Ice Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Ice Temperature,
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Ice Types
  • names:, Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Velocity
  • long_name: Ice Velocity
  • names: Ice Velocity,
  • long_name: Melt
  • names: Melt
  • long_name: Microwave
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • long_name: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • names: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • long_name: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_keyword: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Precipitable Water,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Concentration
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Sea Ice Concentration
  • names: Sea Ice Concentration,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_keyword: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Sea Ice Motion,
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Skin Temperature
  • long_name: Skin Temperature
  • names:, Skin Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • long_name: Snow
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • gcmd_keyword: Solar Irradiance
  • long_name: Solar Irradiance
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, Solar Irradiance
  • long_name: Solar Zenith Angle
  • names: Solar Zenith Angle
  • long_name: Surface (Skin) Temperature
  • names: Surface (Skin) Temperature
  • long_name: Surface Broadband Albedo
  • names: Surface Broadband Albedo
  • long_name: Total Effective Cloud Fraction
  • names: Total Effective Cloud Fraction
  • long_name: Turning Angle
  • names: Turning Angle
  • long_name: Upper Level Winds
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Upper Level Winds
  • names:, Upper Level Winds

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
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Geographic Extent