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Keywords:

  • solar radiation intensity;
  • cloudiness;
  • cloud cover;
  • cloud genera;
  • solar radiation;
  • transmission through clouds

Abstract

This paper aims to describe the influence of cloud cover, its extent and cloud genus, on solar radiation intensity measured at the Earth's surface. Solar radiation intensity values at varying degrees of cloudiness, based on observations and measurements performed between 2003 and 2007 in Krakow (Poland), are analysed in this paper. Analyses show that cloud cover impacts solar radiation intensity in two ways: usually weakening it, but intensifying in certain weather conditions. The greatest solar radiation intensity can be detected not when the sky is cloudless, but when it is partly cloudy (3/8-6/8), with convective clouds present. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society