Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

microbase > Continuous Baseline Microphysical RetrievalVAP Type(s) > Baseline • Evaluation • External

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:

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 ARM observatory. 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 MICROBASE can be found in the technical report.


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Ming H, M Wang, M Wei, Y Wang, X Hou, and M Gao. 2022. "Study on the Clouds Detected by a Millimeter-Wave Cloud Radar over the Hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert in April–June 2018." Journal of Meteorological Research, 35(6), 10.1007/s13351-021-1023-0.


Kollias P, N Bharadwaj, E Clothiaux, K Lamer, M Oue, J Hardin, B Isom, I Lindenmaier, A Matthews, E Luke, S Giangrande, K Johnson, S Collis, J Comstock, and J Mather. 2019. "The ARM Radar Network: At the Leading-edge of Cloud and Precipitation Observations." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(5), 10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0288.1.


Zhou Y, X Sun, R Zhang, C Zhang, H Li, J Zhou, and S Li. 2017. "Influences of cloud heterogeneity on cirrus optical properties retrieved from the visible and near-infrared channels of MODIS/SEVIRI for flat and optically thick cirrus clouds." Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 187, 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2016.09.020.


Ahlgrimm M and RM Forbes. 2016. "Regime dependence of cloud condensate variability observed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Sites." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 142(697), 10.1002/qj.2783.
Research Highlight


Field PR and AJ Heymsfield. 2015. "Importance of snow to global precipitation." Geophysical Research Letters, 42(21), 10.1002/2015gl065497.

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Scott Giangrande
Brookhaven National Laboratory

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