European Cloud Cover

A dataset containing reanalysis data from ERA5 and satellite retrievals from METeosat Second Generation.


Climate change is stated as one of the biggest challenges of our time resulting in many unwanted effects. The response of cloud fractional cover (CFC), i.e. the portion of the sky covered by clouds, to future climate is associated with high uncertainties. CFC will affect the rate of global warming and different parts of the society such as agriculture and solar energy production.

However unfortunately, projection of future CFC is challenging. Here we present the European Cloud Cover dataset that connects variables that usually are well projected by numerical climate models (temperature, pressure and specific and relative humidity) and CFC. The dataset can thus be used to potentially improve the projections of future CFC and again improve projection of future global warming and other climate effects. The data to compute the CFC are obtained from the The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites data portal and the other variables from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

Given the large amounts of data (17 GB) with high spatial and temporal resolution and the complexities of cloud formations, we believe that machine learning can be useful to learn the relation between CRC and the other variables. To the best of our knowledge this is the first dataset of this kind.

Terms of use

To download the dataset you must agree that the dataset will only be used for personal, educational or research purposes. More detailed information about terms of use is given here:

Terms of use:
Data Usage:


Email michael (_at_) simula (_dot_) no if you have any questions about the dataset and our research activities. We always welcome collaboration and joint research!