Detailed Specifications

Data dimensions and options

Extent and resolution

The data spans North America at a resolution of 36km (approximately 0.3°). The domain was centered at 38.3°N, 99.6°W, with a grid dimension of 130 x 200 points

Time period

Hourly data is available for a past (1980-1999) and future (2080-2099) time period.

Shade and height

Shade (%): 0, 25, 50, 75, 100
Height or depth (m): 0.03, 0.06, 0.09, 0.12, 0.15, 0.18, 0.21, 0.24, 0.27, 0.30, 0.48, 0.66, 0.84, 1.02, 1.20, 1.38, 1.56, 1.74, 1.92


Data is available at intervals of 1hr, 6hrs, 12hrs, daily, monthly, or yearly. Users can select among the following aggregation metrics across time: instantaneous, max, min, mean. We use the following conventions for time aggregation:

  • For 6-hr data, the segments of time are 1-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-00 hrs
  • For 12-hr data, the segments of time are 1-12, 13-00 hrs
  • A day begins in hour=1 and ends in hour=0 of the next day.
  • For monthly data, a month begins in day 1 1:00am and ends at the zero hour of the next month.
  • Instantaneous values are at the beginning of a segment.

Variable specifications

The available variables correspond to those of the Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model and the additional microclimate model. Additional details are provided in Levy et al. (2016). All variables include a time dimension and some variables include additional dimensions of height or depth above the surface and shade level.

# Variable Description UnitsDimensions Source
1 ALBEDO surface albedo dec. %time WRF
2 BGAP gap between canopies (the fraction of area where visible solar radiation can reach the ground) dec. %time WRF
3 FVEG fraction of green vegetation dec. %time WRF
4 GLW downward flux of near-infrared radiation W m-2time WRF
5 ISNOW number of snow layers time WRF
6 SWDOWN downward flux of visible radiationW m-2time WRF
7 TAH air temperature in canopyKtime WRF
8 Tair air temperatureKtime, shade, height Microclimate
9 Tsurface surface temperatureKtime, shade Microclimate
10 Tsoil soil/snow temperatureKtime, shade, depth Microclimate
11 TV temperature of a leaf in the vegetation Ktime WRF
12 UV wind velocitym s-1 time, height Microclimate
13 WGAP gap within the canopy (the fraction of visible solar radiation that can reach the ground through the canopy) dec. % time WRF
14 TG temperature of bulk ground Ktime WRF
15 T2 temperature above bare surface (2-m height) Ktime WRF
16 QAIR specific humidity at surface (2-m height) kg kg-1 time WRF
17 SMOIS soil water m3/m3 time, height WRF

Output specifications

Output Format

We are currently serving the microclimate data in either NetCDF or CSV format. We use the following naming convention for output:

[varname]_[shade]_[height/depth]_[interval]_[aggregation]_[startdate]_[enddate]_[creation time].[nc/csv]

Shade and height/depth are added to the file name only if they are part of the dimensions of the selected variable. The selection parameters are also included as global attributes in each output NetCDF file and as header information for each csv file. Output csv files have three fixed fields namely ‘datetime’, ‘lat’(latitude) and ‘lon’(longitude) , and a column for each variable selected. The netCDF file is a compressed format that has the same information as CSV divided into variables, dimensions and attributes. The variables are the selected variables, and dimensions contain spatio-temporal information.