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I'd like to add a layer to display historical data on cloud cover in a Leaflet project I'm currently working on. This is specific to a given day in 2012 for a city in England, and ideally I'd like to have 1-hour updates. This way users could watch the changes in cloud cover - it shouldn't take much work to put in a couple of buttons to skip back and forth one hour.

I seek suitable data sources/layers, preferably with an open license.

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  • This is England you are talking about, its always cloudy here. Seriously, I don't think you'll find hourly cloud cover data anywhere. Satellite passes and observations are much less frequent than that. Where have you tried?
    – Spacedman
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:38
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    metoffice see data.gov.uk/dataset/total-cloud-cover-map-layer in 3hr increments
    – Mapperz
    Feb 24, 2015 at 18:20
  • This question looks to be more suited to the Open Data Stack Exchange.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 23, 2017 at 21:23

3 Answers 3

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UK Met Office use this cloud cover layer.

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http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/datapoint/product/cloud-cover-forecast-map-layer

If you sign up to datapoint you can get archive data (which you are after) https://register.metoffice.gov.uk/WaveRegistrationClient/public/register.do?service=datapoint (Note: some are not free services but most are)

API feeds (& requests) http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/datapoint/support/documentation/forecast-layer-capabilities

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You should be able to download the archive satellite images from EUMetSat (at least while we are still members of the EU). You will have to find the location you are interested in and interpret the data to decide if it meets your definition of 'cloudy'. That in itself is a challenge - some days have high cirrus cloud that has little impact on the level of sunlight - does this count as cloudy ? Also you may have scattered cumulus cloud - vertically under the cloud it may be described as 'cloudy' but since the Sun does not reach the Zenith in the UK it may still be sunny. There are also sunshine records traditionally made with a Campbell - Stokes sunshine recorder but of course these only show when it is clear during the day.

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In the states there are records kept that show the number of days of cloud cover. That let's you know how useful solar is in your area. I knew what to expect when I moved to Alaska and was able to find out that they have more cloudy days than Seattle. And after 16 years there I can attest that indeed there were more cloudy days.

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