It’s Official Now—Cloud Microphysical Properties Value-Added Product Changes Status

Published: 31 January 2012

The Continuous Baseline Microphysical Retrieval (MICROBASE) value-added product (VAP) has been released as an official ARM VAP. Data from April 1998 through December 2009 are now available for the Southern Great Plains, North Slope of Alaska, and Tropical Western Pacific sites. Historical updates will be provided whenever additional data become available.

This sample quicklook plot shows averaged liquid water content for May 9, 2006, at the SGP site.

MICROBASE is a baseline retrieval of cloud microphysical properties. It uses a combination of observations from the 35-GHz millimeter wavelength cloud radar, ceilometer, micropulse lidar, microwave radiometer, and balloon-borne radiosonde soundings in order to produce instantaneous vertical profiles of cloud liquid water content (LWC), cloud ice water content (IWC), liquid cloud particle effective radius (LIQRE), and ice cloud particle effective radius (ICERE). Before the observations gathered from these remote and passive sensors are processed by MICROBASE, they are first processed by the following VAPS:

  • Active Remote Sensing of Clouds (ARSCL)
  • Merged Sounding (MERGESONDE)
  • Microwave Radiometer Retrievals (MWRRET).

Reasonable assumptions for location, particle distribution, and cloud type were developed in order to produce a continuous time series of vertical profiles for these important cloud microphysical properties at each fixed ARM site. The MICROBASE principal investigator product files contain data at 10-second time intervals and 45-meter height intervals consisting of 512 vertical levels.

One of the primary purposes of this product is to provide the required microphysical values for input to the Broadband Heating Rate Profile (BBHRP) and Radiatively Important Parameters Best Estimate (RIPBE) products in order to generate estimates of atmospheric radiative heating rates.

More information about the MICROBASE VAP is available on its new web page. (Go here to request an account.)