Earth System Science Data, Volume 13, Issue 3

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Copernicus GmbH
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Meteorological observations collected during the Storms and Precipitation Across the continental Divide Experiment (SPADE), April–June 2019
Julie M. Thériault | Stephen J. Déry | John W. Pomeroy | Hilary M. Smith | Juris Almonte | André Bertoncini | Robert W. Crawford | Aurélie Desroches-Lapointe | Mathieu Lachapelle | Zen Mariani | S. G. Mitchell | Jeremy Morris | Charlie Hébert-Pinard | Peter Rodriguez | Hadleigh D. Thompson

Abstract. The continental divide along the spine of the Canadian Rockies in southwestern Canada is a critical headwater region for hydrological drainages to the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans. Major flooding events are typically attributed to heavy precipitation on its eastern side due to upslope (easterly) flows. Precipitation can also occur on the western side of the divide when moisture originating from the Pacific Ocean encounters the west-facing slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Often, storms propagating across the divide result in significant precipitation on both sides. Meteorological data over this critical region are sparse, with few stations located at high elevations. Given the importance of all these types of events, the Storms and Precipitation Across the continental Divide Experiment (SPADE) was initiated to enhance our knowledge of the atmospheric processes leading to storms and precipitation on either side of the continental divide. This was accomplished by installing specialized meteorological instrumentation on both sides of the continental divide and carrying out manual observations during an intensive field campaign from 24 April–26 June 2019. On the eastern side, there were two field sites: (i) at Fortress Mountain Powerline (2076 m a.s.l.) and (ii) at Fortress Junction Service, located in a high-elevation valley (1580 m a.s.l.). On the western side, Nipika Mountain Resort, also located in a valley (1087 m a.s.l.), was chosen as a field site. Various meteorological instruments were deployed including two Doppler light detection and ranging instruments (lidars), three vertically pointing micro rain radars, and three optical disdrometers. The three main sites were nearly identically instrumented, and observers were on site at Fortress Mountain Powerline and Nipika Mountain Resort during precipitation events to take manual observations of precipitation type and microphotographs of solid particles. The objective of the field campaign was to gather high-temporal-frequency meteorological data and to compare the different conditions on either side of the divide to study the precipitation processes that can lead to catastrophic flooding in the region. Details on field sites, instrumentation used, and collection methods are discussed. Data from the study are publicly accessible from the Federated Research Data Repository at (Thériault et al., 2020). This dataset will be used to study atmospheric conditions associated with precipitation events documented simultaneously on either side of a continental divide. This paper also provides a sample of the data gathered during a precipitation event.

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Two decades of distributed global radiation time series across a mountainous semiarid area (Sierra Nevada, Spain)
Cristina Aguilar | Rafael Pimentel | María José Polo

Abstract. The main drawback of the reconstruction of high-resolution distributed global radiation (Rg) time series in mountainous semiarid environments is the common lack of station-based solar radiation registers. This work presents 19 years (2000–2018) of high-spatial-resolution (30 m) daily, monthly, and annual global radiation maps derived using the GIS-based model proposed by Aguilar et al. (2010) in a mountainous area in southern Europe: Sierra Nevada (SN) mountain range (Spain). The model was driven by in situ daily global radiation measurements, from 16 weather stations with historical records in the area; a 30 m digital elevation model; and 240 cloud-free Landsat images. The applicability of the modeling scheme was validated against daily global radiation records at the weather stations. Mean RMSE values of 2.63 MJ m−2 d−1 and best estimations on clear-sky days were obtained. Daily Rg at weather stations revealed greater variations in the maximum values but no clear trends with altitude in any of the statistics. However, at the monthly and annual scales, there is an increase in the high extreme statistics with the altitude of the weather station, especially above 1500 m a.s.l. Monthly Rg maps showed significant spatial differences of up to 200 MJ m−2 per month that clearly followed the terrain configuration. July and December were clearly the months with the highest and lowest values of Rg received, and the highest scatter in the monthly Rg values was found in the spring and fall months. The monthly Rg distribution was highly variable along the study period (2000–2018). Such variability, especially in the wet season (October–May), determined the interannual differences of up to 800 MJ m−2 yr−1 in the incoming global radiation in SN. The time series of the surface global radiation datasets here provided can be used to analyze interannual and seasonal variation characteristics of the global radiation received in SN with high spatial detail (30 m). They can also be used as cross-validation reference data for other global radiation distributed datasets generated in SN with different spatiotemporal interpolation techniques. Daily, monthly, and annual datasets in this study are available at (Aguilar et al., 2021).