ARM Climate Modeling Best Estimate



The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Modeling Best Estimate (CMBE) [Xie, McCoy, Klein et al.] product is an ARM datastream specifically tailored to climate modelers for use in evaluation of global climate models. It contains a best estimate of several selected cloud, radiation and atmospheric quantities from the ARM observations.

The data are stored in two different data file streams: CMBE-CLDRAD for cloud and radiation relevant quantities and CMBE-ATM for atmospheric quantities. Data are averaged over one hour time intervals. Quick look plots and details can be found at See also for more info.

The data are available for the 5 ARM Climate Research Facility sites: SGP.C1 (Lamont, OK), NSA.C1 (Barrow, AK), TWP.C1 (Manus Island, PNG), TWP.C2 (Nauru), and TWP.C3 (Darwin, AU) for the period when these data are available.


1. The CMBE-CLDRAD data file contains a best estimate of several selected cloud and radiation relevant quantities from ACRF observations:

  • Cloud fraction profiles
  • Total, high, middle, and low clouds
  • Liquid water path and precipitable water vapor
  • Surface radiative fluxes
  • TOA radiative fluxes

    2. The CMBE-ATM data file contains a best estimate of several selected atmospheric quantities from ACRF observations and NWP analysis data:

  • Soundings
  • Surface sensible and latent heat fluxes
  • Surface precipitation
  • Surface temperature, relative humidity, and horizontal winds
  • NWP analysis data


    - Xie S., R.B. McCoy, S.A. Klein, R.T. Cederwall, W.J. Wiscombe, E.E. Clothiaux, K.L. Gaustad, J.C. Golaz, S.D. Hall, M.P. Jensen, K.L. Johnson, Y. Lin, C.N. Long, J.H. Mather, R.A. McCord, S.A. McFarlane, G. Palanisamy, Y. Shi, and D.D. Turner, 2010: Clouds and more: ARM Climate Modeling Best Estimate Data. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 13–20.DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2891.1.


    Example of plot:


    Fig 1. The integrated example here shows data from numerous instruments at the ARM Southern Great Plains site to illustrate the evolution of cloud properties from shallow cumulus to deep convection during a summer storm on June 17, 2007.



    Fig 2. The long-term continuous ARM data allow us to examine climate variability in clouds in diverse climate regimes around the world. The monthly mean clouds at the five ACRF sites exhibit large geographical and seasonal variability.


    Ftp data access: ARM CMBE