Cloud Microphysics

Cloud Microphysics (CMIC)

Operationally produced by NWC SAF.


CMIC allows to describe cloud microphysics: thermodynamic phase and water droplet/ice crystal size at top of the cloud, Cloud Optical Thickness (COT) and Liquid and Ice Water Path (IWP and LWP).


✓ Available from meteorological geostationary satellites.

✓ Available during day and night (except thermodynamic phase available also at nighttime).

✓ Available at the temporal frequency of the satellites.

✓ For convection the ice thermodynamic phase indicates glaciation of top of cloud, and large COT/IWP indicates thickest part of clouds (heavy rain).


X CMIC not available for low broken clouds.

X Droplet/crystal size, COT and LWP/IWP not retrieved at nighttime and in case mixed/undefined phase or too thin clouds.

Accessibility and Dissemination:

  1. Local installation: Product is accessible after registration (signed contract) at NWCSAF and installation of NWCSAF GEO V2016 in the local environment. It can be run every 15 minutes or with the different settings every 5 minutes RSS. Output format is NetCdf.
  2. Images for the last 24h, updated every 15 minutes at NWCSAF web site:

Additional Information:

Web site
Training Module
Practical info and documentation


Overview modified after NWC SAF Practical Guide by V. Nietosvaara, EUMETSAT, 2018.


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