I'm amateur photographer and professional programmer and I'm trying to create an application to predict exceptionally beautiful sunsets (something like https://www.flickr.com/photos/photogtom43/11046818033/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/kemoauc/5369790925/ )

One of important factors of such sunset is clouds altitude.

Unfortunately all open weather APIs do not provide this data. I can compute cloud base from provided temperature and dew point, but it is usually much lower than actual clouds - I got about 700-800m, while clouds were above 6000m (I computed clouds altitude using a time after sunset when clouds were still red)

Is there a way to estimate actual clouds altitude using data I can receive from open APIs or get it in some other way?


1 Answer 1


Maybe you can use infrared satellite images to get the cloud-top temperatures and estimate the height of them over vertical temperature profiles (e.g. radiosondes). But this ís just workingg for the clouds at the top. You can't see what's beneath them unfortunately.

  • $\begingroup$ It may be good start. Can I get cloud top temperatures using some API? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 9:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It depends on where you live... for europe you can use the images from nwcsaf.org/ctth2 $\endgroup$
    – Exi
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 9:14

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