DSSF for Solar Energy and NWP Model Verification

Shortwave Radiation at the Surface (DSSF) is Important for Solar Power Plants Applications and for Verification of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Model Forecasts

Météo-France within LSA SAF Consortium is developing a satellite product Downward Surface Shortwave Flux (DSSF) which is operationally available every 30 minutes. The product is disseminated in Near Real Time since 2004 by EUMETCast and accessible at the project website:


The product gives instantaneous values of shortwave radiation (W/m2) over land and is important for several applications including verification of NWP models as well as solar power plant applications.

The two animations show hourly average of shortwave radiation at the ground based on satellite measurements, i. e. DSSF (on the left side) developed by Météo-France and on the right side Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model ALADIN forecast as operationally used by Slovenian Environment Agency - ARSO.

The upper case 19 June 2017 illustrates the cases when NWP model forecast is very good and DSSF serves for confirmation of high quality NWP forecast, while the lower case animation (6 June 2017) illustrates how valuable are satellite DSSF data in cases when NWP forecast deviates from reality - in this particular case due to poor cloud cover forecast. In such cases when forecasts deviate from reality satellite data of short wave radiation DSSF are extremely important for decision makers in solar power plant applications for up to 2 - 3 hours in advance as well as for the NWP developers for further NWP model improvements.