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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-128
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-128
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 24 Oct 2018

Review article | 24 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

WFDEI-GEM-CaPA: A 38-year High-Resolution Meteorological Forcing Data Set for Land Surface Modeling in North America

Zilefac Elvis Asong1, Howard Simon Wheater1, John Willard Pomeroy1,2, Alain Pietroniro1,2,3, Mohamed Ezzat Elshamy1, Daniel Princz1, and Alex Cannon4 Zilefac Elvis Asong et al.
  • 1Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Blvd, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada
  • 2Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan, 121 Research Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3, Canada
  • 3Environment and Climate Change Canada, 11 Innovation Blvd, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada
  • 4Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, BC V8W 2Y2, Victoria, Canada

Abstract. Cold regions hydrology is very sensitive to the impacts of climate warming. Future warming is expected to increase the proportion of winter precipitation falling as rainfall. Snowpacks are expected to undergo less sublimation, form later and melt earlier and possibly more slowly, leading to earlier spring peak streamflow. More physically realistic and sophisticated hydrological models driven by reliable climate forcing can provide the capability to assess hydrologic responses to climate change. However, hydrological processes in cold regions involve complex phase changes and so are very sensitive to small biases in the driving meteorology, particularly in temperature and precipitation. Cold regions often have sparse surface observations, particularly at high elevations that generate a major amount of runoff. The effects of mountain topography and high latitudes are not well reflected in the observational record. The best available gridded data in Canada is from the high resolution forecasts of the Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) atmospheric model and the Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA) but this dataset has a short historical record. The EU WATCH ERA-Interim reanalysis (WFDEI) has a longer historical record, but has often been found to be biased relative to observations over Canada. The aim of this study, therefore, is to blend the strengths of both datasets (GEM-CaPA and WFDEI) to produce a less-biased long record product (WFDEI-GEM-CaPA). First, a multivariate generalization of the quantile mapping technique was implemented to bias-correct WFDEI against GEM-CaPA at 3h×0.125° resolution during the 2005–2016 overlap period, followed by a hindcast of WFDEI-GEM-CaPA from 1979. The final product (WFDEI-GEM-CaPA, 1979–2016) is freely available at the Federated Research Data Repository (https://doi.org/10.20383/101.0111).

Zilefac Elvis Asong et al.
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Cold regions hydrology is very sensitive to the impacts of climate warming. We need better hydrological models driven by reliable climate data in order to assess hydrologic responses to climate change. Cold regions often have sparse surface observations, particularly at high elevations that generate a major amount of runoff. We produce a long-term dataset that can be used to better understand and represent the seasonal/inter-annual variability of hydrological fluxes and the the timing of runoff.
Cold regions hydrology is very sensitive to the impacts of climate warming. We need better...
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