Andrew W. Wood


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Hydrologic Model Sensitivity to Temporal Aggregation of Meteorological Forcing Data: A Case Study for the Contiguous United States
Ashley E. Van Beusekom, Lauren Hay, Andrew Bennett, Young-Don Choi, Martyn P. Clark, J. L. Goodall, Zhiyu Li, Iman Maghami, Bart Nijssen, Andrew W. Wood
Journal of Hydrometeorology, Volume 23, Issue 2

Abstract Surface meteorological analyses are an essential input (termed “forcing”) for hydrologic modeling. This study investigated the sensitivity of different hydrologic model configurations to temporal variations of seven forcing variables (precipitation rate, air temperature, longwave radiation, specific humidity, shortwave radiation, wind speed, and air pressure). Specifically, the effects of temporally aggregating hourly forcings to hourly daily average forcings were examined. The analysis was based on 14 hydrological outputs from the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA) model for the 671 Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-Sample Studies (CAMELS) basins across the contiguous United States (CONUS). Results demonstrated that the hydrologic model sensitivity to temporally aggregating the forcing inputs varies across model output variables and model locations. We used Latin hypercube sampling to sample model parameters from eight combinations of three influential model physics choices (three model decisions with two options for each decision, i.e., eight model configurations). Results showed that the choice of model physics can change the relative influence of forcing on model outputs and the forcing importance may not be dependent on the parameter space. This allows for model output sensitivity to forcing aggregation to be tested prior to parameter calibration. More generally, this work provides a comprehensive analysis of the dependence of modeled outcomes on input forcing behavior, providing insight into the regional variability of forcing variable dominance on modeled outputs across CONUS.

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New projections of 21st century climate and hydrology for Alaska and Hawaiʻi
Naoki Mizukami, Andrew J. Newman, Jeremy S. Littell, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Andrew W. Wood, E. D. Gutmann, Joseph Hamman, Diana R. Gergel, Bart Nijssen, Martyn P. Clark, Jeffrey R. Arnold
Climate Services, Volume 27

In the United States, high-resolution, century-long, hydroclimate projection datasets have been developed for water resources planning, focusing on the contiguous United States (CONUS) domain. However, there are few statewide hydroclimate projection datasets available for Alaska and Hawaiʻi. The limited information on hydroclimatic change motivates developing hydrologic scenarios from 1950 to 2099 using climate-hydrology impact modeling chains consisting of multiple statistically downscaled climate projections as input to hydrologic model simulations for both states. We adopt an approach similar to the previous CONUS hydrologic assessments where: 1) we select the outputs from ten global climate models (GCM) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 with Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5; 2) we perform statistical downscaling to generate climate input data for hydrologic models (12-km grid-spacing for Alaska and 1-km for Hawaiʻi); and 3) we perform process-based hydrologic model simulations. For Alaska, we have advanced the hydrologic model configuration from CONUS by using the full water-energy balance computation, frozen soils and a simple glacier model. The simulations show that robust warming and increases in precipitation produce runoff increases for most of Alaska, with runoff reductions in the currently glacierized areas in Southeast Alaska. For Hawaiʻi, we produce the projections at high resolution (1 km) which highlight high spatial variability of climate variables across the state, and a large spread of runoff across the GCMs is driven by a large precipitation spread across the GCMs. Our new ensemble datasets assist with state-wide climate adaptation and other water planning.

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En-GARD: A Statistical Downscaling Framework to Produce and Test Large Ensembles of Climate Projections
E. D. Gutmann, Joseph Hamman, Martyn P. Clark, T. Eidhammer, Andrew W. Wood, Jeffrey R. Arnold
Journal of Hydrometeorology, Volume 23, Issue 10

Abstract Statistical processing of numerical model output has been a part of both weather forecasting and climate applications for decades. Statistical techniques are used to correct systematic biases in atmospheric model outputs and to represent local effects that are unresolved by the model, referred to as downscaling. Many downscaling techniques have been developed, and it has been difficult to systematically explore the implications of the individual decisions made in the development of downscaling methods. Here we describe a unified framework that enables the user to evaluate multiple decisions made in the methods used to statistically postprocess output from weather and climate models. The Ensemble Generalized Analog Regression Downscaling (En-GARD) method enables the user to select any number of input variables, predictors, mathematical transformations, and combinations for use in parametric or nonparametric downscaling approaches. En-GARD enables explicitly predicting both the probability of event occurrence and the event magnitude. Outputs from En-GARD include errors in model fit, enabling the production of an ensemble of projections through sampling of the probability distributions of each climate variable. We apply En-GARD to regional climate model simulations to evaluate the relative importance of different downscaling method choices on simulations of the current and future climate. We show that choice of predictor variables is the most important decision affecting downscaled future climate outputs, while having little impact on the fidelity of downscaled outcomes for current climate. We also show that weak statistical relationships prevent such approaches from predicting large changes in extreme events on a daily time scale.

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Improving station-based ensemble surface meteorological analyses using numerical weather prediction: A case study of the Oroville Dam crisis precipitation event
Patrick Bunn, Andrew W. Wood, Andrew J. Newman, Hsin I. Chang, Christopher L. Castro, Martyn P. Clark, Jeffrey R. Arnold
Journal of Hydrometeorology

Abstract Surface meteorological analyses serve a wide range of research and applications, including forcing inputs for hydrological and ecological models, climate analysis, and resource and emergency management. Quantifying uncertainty in such analyses would extend their utility for probabilistic hydrologic prediction and climate risk applications. With this motivation, we enhance and evaluate an approach for generating ensemble analyses of precipitation and temperature through the fusion of station observations, terrain information, and numerical weather prediction simulations of surface climate fields. In particular, we expand a spatial regression in which static terrain attributes serve as predictors for spatially distributed 1/16th degree daily surface precipitation and temperature by including forecast outputs from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) numerical weather prediction model as additional predictors. We demonstrate the approach for a case study domain of California, focusing on the meteorological conditions leading to the 2017 flood and spillway failure event at Lake Oroville. The approach extends the spatial regression capability of the Gridded Meteorological Ensemble Tool (GMET) and also adds cross-validation to the uncertainty estimation component, enabling the use of predictive rather than calibration uncertainty. In evaluation against out-of-sample station observations, the HRRR-based predictors alone are found to be skillful for the study setting, leading to overall improvements in the enhanced GMET meteorological analyses. The methodology and associated tool represent a promising method for generating meteorological surface analyses for both research-oriented and operational applications, as well as a general strategy for merging in situ and gridded observations.


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Leveraging ensemble meteorological forcing data to improve parameter estimation of hydrologic models
Hongli Liu, Bryan A. Tolson, Andrew J. Newman, Andrew W. Wood
Hydrological Processes, Volume 35, Issue 11

As continental to global scale high-resolution meteorological datasets continue to be developed, there are sufficient meteorological datasets available now for modellers to construct a historical forcing ensemble. The forcing ensemble can be a collection of multiple deterministic meteorological datasets or come from an ensemble meteorological dataset. In hydrological model calibration, the forcing ensemble can be used to represent forcing data uncertainty. This study examines the potential of using the forcing ensemble to identify more robust parameters through model calibration. Specifically, we compare an ensemble forcing-based calibration with two deterministic forcing-based calibrations and investigate their flow simulation and parameter estimation properties and the ability to resist poor-quality forcings. The comparison experiment is conducted with a six-parameter hydrological model for 30 synthetic studies and 20 real data studies to provide a better assessment of the average performance of the deterministic and ensemble forcing-based calibrations. Results show that the ensemble forcing-based calibration generates parameter estimates that are less biased and have higher frequency of covering the true parameter values than the deterministic forcing-based calibration does. Using a forcing ensemble in model calibration reduces the risk of inaccurate flow simulation caused by poor-quality meteorological inputs, and improves the reliability and overall simulation skill of ensemble simulation results. The poor-quality meteorological inputs can be effectively filtered out via our ensemble forcing-based calibration methodology and thus discarded in any post-calibration model applications. The proposed ensemble forcing-based calibration method can be considered as a more generalized framework to include parameter and forcing uncertainties in model calibration.


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The potential to reduce uncertainty in regional runoff projections from climate models
Flavio Lehner, Andrew W. Wood, J. A. Vano, David M. Lawrence, Martyn P. Clark, Justin S. Mankin
Nature Climate Change, Volume 9, Issue 12

Increasingly, climate change impact assessments rely directly on climate models. Assessments of future water security depend in part on how the land model components in climate models partition precipitation into evapotranspiration and runoff, and on the sensitivity of this partitioning to climate. Runoff sensitivities are not well constrained, with CMIP5 models displaying a large spread for the present day, which projects onto change under warming, creating uncertainty. Here we show that constraining CMIP5 model runoff sensitivities with observed estimates could reduce uncertainty in runoff projection over the western United States by up to 50%. We urge caution in the direct use of climate model runoff for applications and encourage model development to use regional-scale hydrological sensitivity metrics to improve projections for water security assessments.

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Diagnostic Evaluation of Large‐Domain Hydrologic Models Calibrated Across the Contiguous United States
Oldřich Rakovec, Naoki Mizukami, Rohini Kumar, Andrew J. Newman, Stephan Thober, Andrew W. Wood, Martyn P. Clark, Luis Samaniego
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Volume 124, Issue 24

This study presents diagnostic evaluation of two large‐domain hydrologic models: the mesoscale Hydrologic Model (mHM) and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) over the contiguous United States (CONUS). These models have been calibrated using the Multiscale Parameter Regionalization scheme in a joint, multibasin approach using 492 medium‐sized basins across the CONUS yielding spatially distributed model parameter sets. The mHM simulations are used as a performance benchmark to examine performance deficiencies in the VIC model. We find that after calibration to streamflow, VIC generally overestimates the magnitude and temporal variability of evapotranspiration (ET) as compared to mHM as well as the FLUXNET observation‐based ET product, resulting in underestimation of the mean and variability of runoff. We perform a controlled calibration experiment to investigate the effect of varying number of transfer function parameters in mHM and to enable a fair comparison between both models (14 and 48 for mHM vs. 14 for VIC). Results of this experiment show similar behavior of mHM with 14 and 48 parameters. Furthermore, we diagnose the internal functioning of the VIC model by looking at the relationship of the evaporative fraction versus the degree of soil saturation and compare it with that of the mHM model, which has a different model structure, a prescribed nonlinear relationship between these variables and exhibits better model skill than VIC. Despite these limitations, the VIC‐based CONUS‐wide calibration constrained against streamflow exhibits better ET skill as compared to two preexisting independent VIC studies.


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DOs and DON'Ts for using climate change information for water resource planning and management: guidelines for study design
J. A. Vano, Jeffrey R. Arnold, Bart Nijssen, Martyn P. Clark, Andrew W. Wood, E. D. Gutmann, Nans Addor, Flavio Lehner
Climate Services, Volume 12

Abstract Water managers are actively incorporating climate change information into their long- and short-term planning processes. This is generally seen as a step in the right direction because it supplements traditional methods, providing new insights that can help in planning for a non-stationary climate. However, the continuous evolution of climate change information can make it challenging to use available information appropriately. Advice on how to use the information is not always straightforward and typically requires extended dialogue between information producers and users, which is not always feasible. To help navigate better the ever-changing climate science landscape, this review is organized as a set of nine guidelines for water managers and planners that highlight better practices for incorporating climate change information into water resource planning and management. Each DOs and DON'Ts recommendation is given with context on why certain strategies are preferable and addresses frequently asked questions by exploring past studies and documents that provide guidance, including real-world examples mainly, though not exclusively, from the United States. This paper is intended to provide a foundation that can expand through continued dialogue within and between the climate science and application communities worldwide, a two-way information sharing that can increase the actionable nature of the information produced and promote greater utility and appropriate use.