One tool that can be potentially integrated into CRT is NOAA’s Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT), which provides access to trusted NOAA data and scientifically-sound analysis techniques for doing regional and local climate studies on climate variability and climate change. However, in order for LCAT to be used effectively, we have found an iterative learning approach using specific examples to train users. For example, for LCAT application in analysis of water resources, we use existing CRT case studies for Arizona and Florida water supply users. The Florida example demonstrates primary sensitivity to climate variability impacts, whereas the Arizona example takes into account longer- term climate change. The types of analyses included in LCAT are time series analysis of local climate and the estimated rate of change in the local climate. It also provides a composite analysis to evaluate the relationship between local climate and climate variability events such as El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific North American Index, and other modes of climate variability.
This paper will describe the development of a training module for use of LCAT and its integration into CRT. An iterative approach was used that incorporates specific examples of decision making while working with subject matter experts within the water supply community. The recommended strategy is to use a “stepping stone” learning structure to build users knowledge of best practices for use of LCAT.