MODIS Atmosphere
MODIS Atmosphere Home Products  Images  Validation  News  Staff  Forum  Reference  Tools  Help
Aerosol Product  Water Vapor Product  Cloud Product  Atmosphere Profile Product  Cloud Mask Product   Joint Atmosphere ProductLevel-2 Products
Daily Global Product  Eight-Day Global Product  Monthly Global ProductLevel-3 Products       Filled Land Surface Albedo ProductFilled Normalized Difference Vegetative Index ProductOne-Minute Land Ecosystem Classification ProductLevel-3 Ancillary Land Surface Products
Format & Content
Ancillary Input
Grids & Mapping
Sample Images
QA Information
Product Modification History
Acquiring Data
Filename Convention
Analysis Tools
Theoretical Basis
Detailed File Spec
Algorithm Software
Production Plan
Support Team


Database of ECMWF-derived Average Cloudy Atmospheres


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)