8B.6 Facilitating Near-'realtime Drought Monitoring with Daily Climate Division Averages

Wednesday, 28 June 2017: 9:45 AM
Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Imke Durre, NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI, Asheville, NC

In this presentation, we intend to preview NClimDiv-Daily, a dataset of daily area-averaged precipitation and temperature for climate divisions, states, and other geographic entities in the contiguous United States. The dataset is in the late stages of development at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and is expected to become operational in 2018. Its primary purpose is to support daily and weekly updates to key drought indicators, such as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which are currently only updated monthly. Consequently, it will extend back to at least 1981 and will be updated once a day.
The area averages are generated by first interpolating observations from the Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily dataset to a nominal 5-km grid and then averaging the gridpoint values within each desired region. Care is taken to minimize spatial variations in the begin/end times of the 24-hour observational day. Interpolation is performed using thin-plate smoothing splines as implemented by the Australian National University (ANUSPLIN) and taking into account coastal proximity and topography. In order to ensure consistency with the already operational monthly NClimDiv product, both the gridded fields and area averages are scaled such that the temperature means and precipitation totals generated from the daily gridded fields will match those in the NClimDiv monthly fields.
The goal of the presentation is to illustrate the methodology and demonstrates applications of the resulting area averages.
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