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Validation

Database of ECMWF-derived Average Cloudy Atmospheres

Introduction

Starting with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global atmospheric profile database, we have created zonal and temporal average profiles that represent a typical mid-latitude summer (MLS), mid-latitude winter (MLW), tropical atmosphere (TRP) and polar oceanic (POL) regions. We have chosen to not include profiles over polar landmasses. Since they are dominated by profiles from the Antarctic continent, they would contain strong inversions and also be heavily extrapolated for pressures above 700 mb. The polar oceanic profile consists of daytime profiles only. Nighttime profiles are not useful for validation purposes as cloud optical and microphysical property retrievals are performed for daytime scenes only. We defined the tropical region as | latitude | < 30° , the mid-latitudes as 30° < | latitude | < 60° and the polar region as | latitude | > 60° . For mid-latitudes we defined winter profiles as profiles dated between November 1st and April 30th and summer profiles as the remainder of the year. Within each latitude belt we chose the profiles that had cloud fraction (CF) > 0.85 to match the conditions we were interested in. We further broke down the profiles by land and ocean using the ECMWF surface type flag with threshold set at 0.5. We then saturated the profiles at levels in which we placed clouds with respect to the appropriate cloud thermodynamic phase. The profiles were interpolated from the native 60-level resolution to 36 levels spaced at 1km between 0 and 25 km and sparser resolution in the upper atmosphere.

The profiles are ASCII text making them compatible with all operating systems.

Download Data File



Database of ECMWF-derived Average Cloudy Atmospheres
(Tar File, ASCII data)



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