26 Mar 2024
 | 26 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A Deep Convective Systems Database Derived from the Intercalibrated Meteorological Geostationary Satellite Fleet and the TOOCAN algorithm (2012–2020)

Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

Abstract. We introduce two databases aimed at facilitating the study of deep convective systems (DCS) and their morphological characteristics over the intertropical belt during the period spanning from 2012 to 2020: TOOCAN and CACATOES. The TOOCAN database is constructed using a tracking algorithm called TOOCAN applied on a homogenized GEOring infrared (IR) archive and enables the documentation of the morphological parameters of each DCS throughout its life cycle. The homogenized GEOring IR database has been built from level-1 data of a fleet of geostationary platforms originating from various sources and has been inter-calibrated, spectrally adjusted, and limb darkening corrected, specifically for the high cold cloud onto a common reference, the IR channel of the ScaRaB radiometer on-board Megha-Tropiques. The resulting infrared observations are then homogeneous for Brightness Temperatures (BT) < 240 K with a standard deviation lower than 1.5 K throughout the GEOring. A systematic uncertainty analysis is carried out. First, the radiometric errors are shown to have a little impact on the DCS characteristics and occurrences. We further evaluate the impact of missing data and demonstrate that a maximum of 3 hours of consecutive missing images represents a favorable compromise for maintaining tracking continuity while minimizing the impact on the DCS morphological parameters. However, beyond this temporal threshold, the segmentation of DCS is significantly compromised, necessitating the interruption of the tracking process. The CACATOES database is derived from the TOOCAN database through a post-processing procedure, which involves projecting the morphological parameters of each deep convective system (DCS) onto a 1°x1°-1-day grid. This resultant dataset provides a broader perspective, allowing for an Eulerian analysis of the DCS and facilitating comparisons with auxiliary gridded datasets on the same daily 1° × 1° grid box.

Both the TOOCAN and CACATOES databases are provided on a common netCDF format that is compliant with Climate and Forecast (CF) Convention and Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD) standards.

A total of 15x106 DCS have been identified over the tropical regions and the 9-year period. The analysis of DCS over the tropical oceans and continents reveals a large variety of DCS characteristics and organization. They can last from few hours up to several days, and their cloud shield ranges from 1000 km2 to a few millions of km2. Oceanic DCS are characterized by a longer lifetime duration and larger shields. Finally, the DCS geographical distribution is in line with previous DCS climatology built from other algorithms and satellite observations.

All datasets can be accessed via the repository under the following data DOI:

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Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-36', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Thomas Fiolleau, 14 Jun 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2024-36', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 May 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Thomas Fiolleau, 14 Jun 2024
  • EC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-36', Tobias Gerken, 02 May 2024
Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

Data sets

TOOCAN Database V2.08 – Tracking Of Organized Convection Algorithm using a 3-dimensional segmentation Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

CACATOES database V1.04 Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

GEOgrid_coldcloud : a 2012-2020 global homogenized infrared dataset from a fleet of geostationary satellites Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca

Thomas Fiolleau and Remy Roca


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Short summary
This paper presents a tropical deep convective system database over the 2012–2020 period and built from a cloud tracking algorithm called TOOCAN, which has been applied on homogenized infrared observation from a fleet of geostationary satellites. This database aims at analyzing the tropical deep convective systems, the evolution of their associated characteristics along their life cycle, their organization and their importance in the hydrological and energy cycle...