Using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis as weather input data for watershed models
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Fuka, D.R., Walter, M.T., MacAlister, C., Degaetano, A.T., Steenhuis, T.S. and Easton, Z.M. 2013. Using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis as weather input data for watershed models. Hydrological Processes
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/34327
Obtaining representative meteorological data for watershed-scale hydrological modelling can be difficult and time consuming. Land-based weather stations do not always adequately represent the weather occurring over a watershed, because they can be far from the watershed of interest and can have gaps in their data series, or recent data are not available. This study presents a method for using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) global meteorological dataset to obtain historical weather data and demonstrates the application to modelling five watersheds representing different hydroclimate regimes. CFSR data are available globally for each hour since 1979 at a 38-km resolution. Results show that utilizing the CFSR precipitation and temperature data to force a watershed model provides stream discharge simulations that are as good as or better than models forced using traditional weather gauging stations, especially when stations are more than 10 km from the watershed. These results further demonstrate that adding CFSR data to the suite of watershed modelling tools provides new opportunities for meeting the challenges of modelling un-gauged watersheds and advancing real-time hydrological modelling.