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  • Author or Editor: Guenter Warnecke x
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Lewis J. Allison and Guenter Warnecke
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Guenter Warnecke and Wendell S. Sunderlin

The third Applications Technology Satellite (ATS-3) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was launched into a geo-synchronous orbit at 35,800 km altitude over Brazil on 5 November 1967. One of the meteorological experiments onboard is the Multicolor Spin-Scan Cloud Camera. It provides instantaneous high resolution color pictures of the whole disc of the Earth in a 30-min sequence. Three images are obtained by simultaneous scanning through three different color filters (green, red, blue). The three separate signals are transmitted to the ground station where the multicolor picture is produced.

The first picture of 10 November 1967 is shown on the front page of this Bulletin. The superiority over monochrome pictures (black and white) is demonstrated by the strikingly better contrast between clouds and the background (Earth surface).

A large number of interesting meteorological details are shown in the picture and pointed out in this article. A montage of the ATS-3 picture and an ATS-1 photograph taken on the same day over the Pacific Ocean provides a synoptic picture of the cloud distribution over more than two thirds of the globe.

These successful experiments constitute a large step in obtaining a complete survey on short-time changes of global cloudiness as required for the World Weather Watch.

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Jacob Bjerknes, Lewis J. Allison, Earl R. Kreins, Frederic A. Godshall, and Guenter Warnecke

The generally held assumption, that the bulk of tropical rain over the oceans is generated where the sea is warmer than the air, is being largely verified in this article with the new tool of satellite cloudiness mapping. The discussion focuses on the satellite-observed variable position of the boundary between the west Pacific equatorial rain clouds over warm ocean water and the east Pacific aridity along the equator over cool upwelling water. The often quite abrupt changes between these two regimes in the mid-Pacific are known from an eighteen-year sequence of ocean and atmosphere data at Canton Island. This article describes the same phenomena delineated by satellite television data recorded during 1962–67, and adds features of the geographic cloudiness distribution not obtainable from the widely spaced fixed points of observation.

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