HPCCprojects:High-Resolution Regional Climate Modeling


High-Resolution Regional Climate Modeling

Project description

The High-Resolution Regional Climate Modeling project uses the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model (ARW) to simulate projected climate based on Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model (AOGCM)boundary and initial conditions. Regional solutions include much of North America and projections currently extend to 2050.


The main objective of this project is to provide high-resolution climate projections in support of research and management needs for wildlife and water resources. Funded projects include modeling response of migratory birds to projected climate change in the Great Plains, response of karst aquifers and associated stygobitic (subterranean) fauna to climate change, effects to ecosystems in National Parks and Monuments, and snowpack modeling in the Northern Rockies. Several such studies require projections of surface temperature and precipitation at daily time steps, and additional climate variables such as winds and temperatures aloft, snowpack, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration. ARW is used to simulate these variables.


Initial high-resolution simulations of projected climate using ARW began in 2010 and funded projects are expected to continue through 2014.

Models in use

Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model


Climate projections for North America at a 36-kilometer grid spacing for 2001-2050 and 1981-2010 have been completed. Simulations driven by the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CSFR) for 1981-2010 and 12-kilometer grid spacing projections for 1981-2050 are currently underway.


List the CSDMS HPCC users of your project:

  • Gary Clow (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • John Stamm (U.S. Geological Survey, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)
  • Parker Norton (U.S. Geological Survey, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


  • Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
  • South Central Climate Science Center
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Publications and presentations

  • Norton, P.A., and Stamm, J.F., 2012, WRF dynamically downscaled simulation of projected climate in the Missouri River watershed: 2000-2050: 13th Annual WRF Users Workshop, Boulder, CO, Extended abstract.
  • Stamm, J.F. and Norton, P.A., 2012, Contemporary and projected climate in the Missouri River watershed: 1901-2050: Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference, http://sd.water.usgs.gov/WSDconf/2012conference.pdf
  • Skagen, S.K. and others, 2011, Avian conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region, northern Great Plains: Understanding the links between climate, ecosystem processes, wetland management, and bird communities: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3030, 4 p.