Detailed Specifications

Data dimensions and options

Extent and resolution

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

Time period

Hourly data are 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 for WRF

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 or below 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

Variable specifications for ERA5

The available variables correspond to those of the Climate Data Store(CDS) Toolbox. All variables include a time dimension.

# Variable Description UnitsDimensions Source
1 100m u-component of wind Horizontal speed of air moving towards the east, at a height of 100 metres above the surface of the Earth ms-1time ERA5
2 2m Temperature Temperature of air at 2m above the surface of land, sea or inland waters Ktime ERA5
3 Skin Temperature Temperature of the surface of the Earth Ktime ERA5
4 Soil Temperature Temperature of the soil at level 1 Ktime ERA5
5 Volumetric Soil water layer 1 Volume of water in soil layer 1 (0 - 7cm, the surface is at 0cm) m3 m-3time ERA5
6 High Vegetation Cover Fraction of the grid box that is covered with vegetation Dimensionlesstime ERA5
7 Evaporation Accumulated amount of water that is evaporated from the Earth's surfacem of water equivalenttime ERA5
8 Potential Evaporation Amount of evaporation, under existing atmospheric conditionsmtime ERA5
9 Surface solar radiation downwards Amount of solar radiation that reaches a horizontal plane at the surface of the EarthJ m-2time ERA5

Variable specifications for Aeris

The available variables correspond to those of the Aeris Weather. All variables include a time dimension.

# Variable Description UnitsDimensions Source
1 Temperature Temperature in Celsius time aeris
2 Solar Radiation Solar radiation as observed from station WM2time aeris
3 Wind Speed Speed of wind KPHtime aeris
4 Wind Direction Direction of Wind cardinal coordinatestime aeris

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’ (format YYYYMMDDHH), ‘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.