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Ben Livneh
,
Eric A. Rosenberg
,
Chiyu Lin
,
Bart Nijssen
,
Vimal Mishra
,
Kostas M. Andreadis
,
Edwin P. Maurer
, and
Dennis P. Lettenmaier

Abstract

This paper describes a publicly available, long-term (1915–2011), hydrologically consistent dataset for the conterminous United States, intended to aid in studies of water and energy exchanges at the land surface. These data are gridded at a spatial resolution of latitude/longitude and are derived from daily temperature and precipitation observations from approximately 20 000 NOAA Cooperative Observer (COOP) stations. The available meteorological data include temperature, precipitation, and wind, as well as derived humidity and downwelling solar and infrared radiation estimated via algorithms that index these quantities to the daily mean temperature, temperature range, and precipitation, and disaggregate them to 3-hourly time steps. Furthermore, the authors employ the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) model to produce 3-hourly estimates of soil moisture, snow water equivalent, discharge, and surface heat fluxes. Relative to an earlier similar dataset by Maurer and others, the improved dataset has 1) extended the period of analysis (1915–2011 versus 1950–2000), 2) increased the spatial resolution from ⅛° to , and 3) used an updated version of VIC. The previous dataset has been widely used in water and energy budget studies, climate change assessments, drought reconstructions, and for many other purposes. It is anticipated that the spatial refinement and temporal extension will be of interest to a wide cross section of the scientific community.

Full access
John J. Cassano
,
Alice DuVivier
,
Andrew Roberts
,
Mimi Hughes
,
Mark Seefeldt
,
Michael Brunke
,
Anthony Craig
,
Brandon Fisel
,
William Gutowski
,
Joseph Hamman
,
Matthew Higgins
,
Wieslaw Maslowski
,
Bart Nijssen
,
Robert Osinski
, and
Xubin Zeng

Abstract

The near-surface climate, including the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land state and fluxes, in the initial version of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) are presented. The sensitivity of the RASM near-surface climate to changes in atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice parameters and physics is evaluated in four simulations. The near-surface atmospheric circulation is well simulated in all four RASM simulations but biases in surface temperature are caused by biases in downward surface radiative fluxes. Errors in radiative fluxes are due to biases in simulated clouds with different versions of RASM simulating either too much or too little cloud radiative impact over open ocean regions and all versions simulating too little cloud radiative impact over land areas. Cold surface temperature biases in the central Arctic in winter are likely due to too few or too radiatively thin clouds. The precipitation simulated by RASM is sensitive to changes in evaporation that were linked to sea surface temperature biases. Future work will explore changes in model microphysics aimed at minimizing the cloud and radiation biases identified in this work.

Full access
Naoki Mizukami
,
Martyn P. Clark
,
Ethan D. Gutmann
,
Pablo A. Mendoza
,
Andrew J. Newman
,
Bart Nijssen
,
Ben Livneh
,
Lauren E. Hay
,
Jeffrey R. Arnold
, and
Levi D. Brekke

Abstract

Continental-domain assessments of climate change impacts on water resources typically rely on statistically downscaled climate model outputs to force hydrologic models at a finer spatial resolution. This study examines the effects of four statistical downscaling methods [bias-corrected constructed analog (BCCA), bias-corrected spatial disaggregation applied at daily (BCSDd) and monthly scales (BCSDm), and asynchronous regression (AR)] on retrospective hydrologic simulations using three hydrologic models with their default parameters (the Community Land Model, version 4.0; the Variable Infiltration Capacity model, version 4.1.2; and the Precipitation–Runoff Modeling System, version 3.0.4) over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Biases of hydrologic simulations forced by statistically downscaled climate data relative to the simulation with observation-based gridded data are presented. Each statistical downscaling method produces different meteorological portrayals including precipitation amount, wet-day frequency, and the energy input (i.e., shortwave radiation), and their interplay affects estimations of precipitation partitioning between evapotranspiration and runoff, extreme runoff, and hydrologic states (i.e., snow and soil moisture). The analyses show that BCCA underestimates annual precipitation by as much as −250 mm, leading to unreasonable hydrologic portrayals over the CONUS for all models. Although the other three statistical downscaling methods produce a comparable precipitation bias ranging from −10 to 8 mm across the CONUS, BCSDd severely overestimates the wet-day fraction by up to 0.25, leading to different precipitation partitioning compared to the simulations with other downscaled data. Overall, the choice of downscaling method contributes to less spread in runoff estimates (by a factor of 1.5–3) than the choice of hydrologic model with use of the default parameters if BCCA is excluded.

Full access
Ashley E. Van Beusekom
,
Lauren E. Hay
,
Andrew R. Bennett
,
Young-Don Choi
,
Martyn P. Clark
,
Jon L. Goodall
,
Zhiyu Li
,
Iman Maghami
,
Bart Nijssen
, and
Andrew W. Wood

Abstract

Surface meteorological analyses are an essential input (termed “forcing”) for hydrologic modeling. This study investigated the sensitivity of different hydrologic model configurations to temporal variations of seven forcing variables (precipitation rate, air temperature, longwave radiation, specific humidity, shortwave radiation, wind speed, and air pressure). Specifically, the effects of temporally aggregating hourly forcings to hourly daily average forcings were examined. The analysis was based on 14 hydrological outputs from the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA) model for the 671 Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-Sample Studies (CAMELS) basins across the contiguous United States (CONUS). Results demonstrated that the hydrologic model sensitivity to temporally aggregating the forcing inputs varies across model output variables and model locations. We used Latin hypercube sampling to sample model parameters from eight combinations of three influential model physics choices (three model decisions with two options for each decision, i.e., eight model configurations). Results showed that the choice of model physics can change the relative influence of forcing on model outputs and the forcing importance may not be dependent on the parameter space. This allows for model output sensitivity to forcing aggregation to be tested prior to parameter calibration. More generally, this work provides a comprehensive analysis of the dependence of modeled outcomes on input forcing behavior, providing insight into the regional variability of forcing variable dominance on modeled outputs across CONUS.

Full access
Robert A. Houze Jr.
,
Lynn A. McMurdie
,
Walter A. Petersen
,
Mathew R. Schwaller
,
William Baccus
,
Jessica D. Lundquist
,
Clifford F. Mass
,
Bart Nijssen
,
Steven A. Rutledge
,
David R. Hudak
,
Simone Tanelli
,
Gerald G. Mace
,
Michael R. Poellot
,
Dennis P. Lettenmaier
,
Joseph P. Zagrodnik
,
Angela K. Rowe
,
Jennifer C. DeHart
,
Luke E. Madaus
,
Hannah C. Barnes
, and
V. Chandrasekar

Abstract

The Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) took place during the 2015/16 fall–winter season in the vicinity of the mountainous Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The goals of OLYMPEX were to provide physical and hydrologic ground validation for the U.S.–Japan Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission and, more specifically, to study how precipitation in Pacific frontal systems is modified by passage over coastal mountains. Four transportable scanning dual-polarization Doppler radars of various wavelengths were installed. Surface stations were placed at various altitudes to measure precipitation rates, particle size distributions, and fall velocities. Autonomous recording cameras monitored and recorded snow accumulation. Four research aircraft supplied by NASA investigated precipitation processes and snow cover, and supplemental rawinsondes and dropsondes were deployed during precipitation events. Numerous Pacific frontal systems were sampled, including several reaching “atmospheric river” status, warm- and cold-frontal systems, and postfrontal convection.

Open access