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Cloud Fraction & Water Vapor

Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 1 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 2 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 3 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 4 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 5 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 6 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 7 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 8 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 9 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 10 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 11 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 12 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 13 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 14 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 15 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 16 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 17 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 18 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 19 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 20 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 21 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 22 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 23 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 24 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 25 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 26 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 27 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 28 Global Map Cloud Fraction 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Cloud Fraction Image 58 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 59 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 60 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 61 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 62 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 63 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 64 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 65 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 66 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 67 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 68 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 69 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 70 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 71 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 72 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 73 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 74 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 75 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 76 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 77 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 78 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 79 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 80 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 81 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 82 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 83 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 84 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 85 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 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Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 115 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 116 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 117 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 118 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 119 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 120 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 121 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 122 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 123 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 124 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 125 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 126 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 127 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 128 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 129 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 130 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 131 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 132 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 133 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 134 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 135 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 136 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 137 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 138 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 139 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 140 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 141 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 142 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 143 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 144 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 145 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 146 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 147 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 148 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 149 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 150 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 151 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 152 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 153 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 154 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 155 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 156 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 157 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 158 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 159 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 160 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 161 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 162 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 163 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 164 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 165 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 166 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 167 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 168 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 169 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 170 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 171 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 172 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 173 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 174 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 175 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 176 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 177 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 178 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 179 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 180 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 181 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 182 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 183 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 184 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 185 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 186 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 187 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 188 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 189 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 190
Cloud Fraction
Cloud Fraction Scale
Water Vapor
Water Vapor Scale
Global Map Water Vapor Image 1 Global Map Water Vapor Image 2 Global Map Water Vapor Image 3 Global Map Water Vapor Image 4 Global Map Water Vapor Image 5 Global Map Water Vapor Image 6 Global Map Water Vapor Image 7 Global Map Water Vapor Image 8 Global Map Water Vapor Image 9 Global Map Water Vapor Image 10 Global Map Water Vapor Image 11 Global Map Water Vapor Image 12 Global Map Water Vapor Image 13 Global Map Water Vapor Image 14 Global Map Water Vapor Image 15 Global Map Water Vapor Image 16 Global Map Water Vapor Image 17 Global Map Water Vapor Image 18 Global Map Water Vapor Image 19 Global Map Water Vapor Image 20 Global Map Water Vapor Image 21 Global Map Water Vapor Image 22 Global Map Water Vapor Image 23 Global Map Water Vapor Image 24 Global Map Water Vapor Image 25 Global Map Water Vapor Image 26 Global Map Water Vapor Image 27 Global Map Water Vapor Image 28 Global Map Water Vapor Image 29 Global Map Water Vapor Image 30 Global Map Water Vapor Image 31 Global Map Water Vapor Image 32 Global Map Water Vapor Image 33 Global Map Water Vapor Image 34 Global Map Water Vapor Image 35 Global Map Water Vapor Image 36 Global Map Water Vapor Image 37 Global Map Water Vapor Image 38 Global Map Water Vapor Image 39 Global Map Water Vapor Image 40 Global Map Water Vapor Image 41 Global Map Water Vapor Image 42 Global Map Water Vapor Image 43 Global Map Water Vapor Image 44 Global Map Water Vapor Image 45 Global Map Water Vapor Image 46 Global Map Water Vapor Image 47 Global Map Water Vapor Image 48 Global Map Water Vapor Image 49 Global Map Water Vapor Image 50 Global Map Water Vapor Image 51 Global Map Water Vapor Image 52 Global Map Water Vapor Image 53 Global Map Water Vapor Image 54 Global Map Water Vapor Image 55 Global Map Water Vapor Image 56 Global Map Water Vapor Image 57 Global Map Water Vapor Image 58 Global Map Water Vapor Image 59 Global Map Water Vapor Image 60 Global Map Water Vapor Image 61 Global Map Water Vapor Image 62 Global Map Water Vapor Image 63 Global Map Water Vapor Image 64 Global Map Water Vapor Image 65 Global Map Water Vapor Image 66 Global Map Water Vapor Image 67 Global Map Water Vapor Image 68 Global Map Water Vapor Image 69 Global Map Water Vapor Image 70 Global Map Water Vapor Image 71 Global Map Water Vapor Image 72 Global Map Water Vapor Image 73 Global Map Water Vapor Image 74 Global Map Water Vapor Image 75 Global Map Water Vapor Image 76 Global Map Water Vapor Image 77 Global Map Water Vapor Image 78 Global Map Water Vapor Image 79 Global Map Water Vapor Image 80 Global Map Water Vapor Image 81 Global Map Water Vapor Image 82 Global Map Water Vapor Image 83 Global Map Water Vapor Image 84 Global Map Water Vapor Image 85 Global Map Water Vapor Image 86 Global Map Water Vapor Image 87 Global Map Water Vapor Image 88 Global Map Water Vapor Image 89 Global Map Water Vapor Image 90 Global Map Water Vapor Image 91 Global Map Water Vapor Image 92 Global Map Water Vapor Image 93 Global Map Water Vapor Image 94 Global Map Water Vapor Image 95 Global Map Water Vapor Image 96 Global Map Water Vapor Image 97 Global Map Water Vapor Image 98 Global Map Water Vapor Image 99 Global Map Water Vapor Image 100 Global Map Water Vapor Image 101 Global Map Water Vapor Image 102 Global Map Water Vapor Image 103 Global Map Water Vapor Image 104 Global Map Water Vapor Image 105 Global Map Water Vapor Image 106 Global Map Water Vapor Image 107 Global Map Water Vapor Image 108 Global Map Water Vapor Image 109 Global Map Water Vapor Image 110 Global Map Water Vapor Image 111 Global Map Water Vapor Image 112 Global Map Water Vapor Image 113 Global Map Water Vapor Image 114 Global Map Water Vapor Image 115 Global Map Water Vapor Image 116 Global Map Water Vapor Image 117 Global Map Water Vapor Image 118 Global Map Water Vapor Image 119 Global Map Water Vapor Image 120 Global Map Water Vapor Image 121 Global Map Water Vapor Image 122 Global Map Water Vapor Image 123 Global Map Water Vapor Image 124 Global Map Water Vapor Image 125 Global Map Water Vapor Image 126 Global Map Water Vapor Image 127 Global Map Water Vapor Image 128 Global Map Water Vapor Image 129 Global Map Water Vapor Image 130 Global Map Water Vapor Image 131 Global Map Water Vapor Image 132 Global Map Water Vapor Image 133 Global Map Water Vapor Image 134 Global Map Water Vapor Image 135 Global Map Water Vapor Image 136 Global Map Water Vapor Image 137 Global Map Water Vapor Image 138 Global Map Water Vapor Image 139 Global Map Water Vapor Image 140 Global Map Water Vapor Image 141 Global Map Water Vapor Image 142 Global Map Water Vapor Image 143 Global Map Water Vapor Image 144 Global Map Water Vapor Image 145 Global Map Water Vapor Image 146 Global Map Water Vapor Image 147 Global Map Water Vapor Image 148 Global Map Water Vapor Image 149 Global Map Water Vapor Image 150 Global Map Water Vapor Image 151 Global Map Water Vapor Image 152 Global Map Water Vapor Image 153 Global Map Water Vapor Image 154 Global Map Water Vapor Image 155 Global Map Water Vapor Image 156 Global Map Water Vapor Image 157 Global Map Water Vapor Image 158 Global Map Water Vapor Image 159 Global Map Water Vapor Image 160 Global Map Water Vapor Image 161 Global Map Water Vapor Image 162 Global Map Water Vapor Image 163 Global Map Water Vapor Image 164 Global Map Water Vapor Image 165 Global Map Water Vapor Image 166 Global Map Water Vapor Image 167 Global Map Water Vapor Image 168 Global Map Water Vapor Image 169 Global Map Water Vapor Image 170 Global Map Water Vapor Image 171 Global Map Water Vapor Image 172 Global Map Water Vapor Image 173 Global Map Water Vapor Image 174 Global Map Water Vapor Image 175 Global Map Water Vapor Image 176 Global Map Water Vapor Image 177 Global Map Water Vapor Image 178 Global Map Water Vapor Image 179 Global Map Water Vapor Image 180 Global Map Water Vapor Image 181 Global Map Water Vapor Image 182 Global Map Water Vapor Image 183 Global Map Water Vapor Image 184 Global Map Water Vapor Image 185 Global Map Water Vapor Image 186 Global Map Water Vapor Image 187 Global Map Water Vapor Image 188 Global Map Water Vapor Image 189 Global Map Water Vapor Image 190

The Earth's land surfaces, life, oceans, and atmosphere endlessly recycle the planet's water. Liquid water on the surface is transformed into water vapor by wind and sunlight, and it is also released by plants during photosynthesis. Water vapor is what makes the air feel humid. It condenses into water droplets or freezes into ice crystals, making clouds, rain, and snow. Air temperature and water vapor play the biggest role in forming clouds.

The cloud maps show what fraction of an area was cloudy on average for the month. The measurements were collected by the MODIS sensors on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. Colors range from blue (no clouds) to white (totally cloudy).

The water vapor maps show the total amount of water vapor in the column of air between the surface and the top of the atmosphere on average for the month. The observations were made by the MODIS sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite. Places where the air was dry are white, while places where water vapor was abundant are blue.

The comparison of global cloudiness and water vapor shows that year-round, the tropics are both the cloudiest and the most humid zone. This pattern makes sense because tropical latitudes receive the Sun's most direct rays for more of the year than higher latitudes, and the steady sunlight and warmth fuel evaporation from the ocean. On land, tropical forests release water vapor during photosynthesis. Because of this steady heating and evaporation, air over the tropics is usually warm, moist, and buoyant. It rises high into the atmosphere, where it cools, and clouds form.

Another interesting relationship is that while the places with the most water vapor in any month are always among the cloudiest, it is not always true that the cloudiest places are among the most humid locations. The tropics are both very humid and very cloudy, but in many months, the Southern Ocean is among the cloudiest places on the planet, even though the amount of water vapor is relatively low. This pattern occurs because cloud formation depends on both water vapor and air temperatures. The colder the air, the more readily any water vapor in the air will condense into clouds.

View, download, or analyze more of these data from NASA Earth Observations (NEO):
Cloud Fraction
Water Vapor