Continuous Large-Scale Forcing Data Now Available for Cloud Modeling From Southern Great Plains

Published: 19 January 2018
The seasonal cycle of Southern Great Plains domain-averaged latent heat (LH) and sensible heat (SH) fluxes is shown by using QCECOR-only (QCECOR), BAEBBR-only (BAEBBR), and both QCECOR and BAEBBR data (merged) averaged from 2004-2015, and the impact to the derived large-scale vertical velocity (omega). Version 2 of the continuous forcing value-added product uses the merged surface fluxes.

Data for the years 2004 to 2015 are now available for version 2 of the continuous large-scale forcing value-added product (VAP), known as VARANAL, from the Southern Great Plains (SGP) atmospheric observatory. This product includes both the large-scale forcing terms and the evaluation fields, which can be used for driving single-column models, cloud-resolving models, or large-eddy simulations (LES), including LASSO—the LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation workflow, and validating model simulations.

The updated VARANAL VAP incorporates eddy correlation flux measurement system (ECOR) data into the analysis to better represent various surface types within the analysis domain. Surface latent and sensible fluxes are a merged product from energy balance Bowen ratio (EBBR) and ECOR measurements. Turbulent fluxes are from the Quality-Controlled ECOR (QCECOR) and Bulk Aerodynamic Technique EBBR (BAEBBR) VAPs.

Background data are also updated from Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) (before May 2012) to the Rapid Refresh (RAP) (after May 2012) analysis. In addition, top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes are now used, with improved algorithm and bug fixes, due to the recent reprocessing of the satellite data.

Analyzed forcing data follow the resolution of the previous version, with 1-hour time resolution and 25-hPa vertical resolution. The data sets are in netCDF format. To see data plots, go to

Scientists can begin using forcing data from VARANAL for model simulation and evaluation. Note that the continuous forcing data before 2004 were not updated due to the lack of high-quality ECOR data. Users should use pre-2004 VARANAL data with caution.

For questions or to report data problems, please contact Shuaiqi Tang or Shaocheng Xie.

Data can be referenced as doi:10.5439/1273323.
To access the data set, please browse the ARM Data Center. (Go here to create an account to download the data.)

# # #

The ARM Climate Research Facility is a DOE Office of Science user facility. The ARM Facility is operated by nine DOE national laboratories.