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High-resolution spatial modeling of daily weather elements for a catchment in the Oregon Cascade Mountains, United StatesAuthor(s): Christopher Daly; Jonathan W. Smith; Joseph I. Smith; Robert B. McKane
Source: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 45: 1565-1586
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionHigh-quality daily meteorological data at high spatial resolution are essential for a variety of hydrologic and ecological modeling applications that support environmental risk assessments and decisionmaking. This paper describes the development. application. and assessment of methods to construct daily high resolution (~50-m cell size) meteorological grids for the 2003 calendar year in the Upper South Santiam Watershed (USSW). a 500-km2 mountainous catchment draining the western slope of the Oregon Cascade Mountains. Elevations within the USSW ranged from 194 to 1650 m. Meteorological elements modeled were minimum and maximum temperature; total precipitation, rainfall, and snowfall; and solar radiation and radiation-adjusted maximum temperature. The Parameter-Elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) was used to interpolate minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation. The separation of precipitation into rainfall and snowfall components used a temperature-based regression function. Solar radiation was simulated with the Image-Processing Workbench. Radiation-based adjustments to maximum temperature employed equations developed from data in the nearby H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. The restrictive terrain of the USSW promoted cold-air drainage and temperature inversions by reducing large-scale airflow. Inversions were prominent nearly all year for minimum temperature and were noticeable even for maximum temperature during the autumn and winter. Precipitation generally increased with elevation over the USSW. In 2003, precipitation was nearly always in the form of rain at the lowest elevations but was about 50 percent snow at the highest elevations. Solar radiation followed a complex pattern related to terrain slope, aspect, and position relative to other terrain features. Clear, sunny days with a large proportion of direct radiation exhibited the greatest contrast in radiation totals, whereas cloudy days with primarily diffuse radiation showed little contrast. Radiation-adjusted maximum temperatures showed similar patterns. The lack of a high-quality observed data set was a major issue in the interpolation of precipitation and solar radiation. However, observed data available for the USSW were superior to those available for most mountainous regions in the Western United States. In this sense, the methods and results presented here can inform others performing similar studies in other mountainous regions.
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CitationDaly, Christopher; Smith, Jonathan W.; Smith, Joseph I.; McKane, Robert B. 2007. High-resolution spatial modeling of daily weather elements for a catchment in the Oregon Cascade Mountains, United States. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 45: 1565-1586
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