Long-term hydrometeorological trends in the Midwest region based on a century long gridded hydrometeorological dataset and simulations from a macro-scale hydrology model

Monday, 15 December 2014
Chun-Mei Chiu, University of Notre Dame, Environmental Change Initiative, Notre Dame, IN, United States and Alan F Hamlet, University of Notre Dame, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Notre Dame, IN, United States
Climate change is likely to impact the Great Lakes region and Midwest region via changes in Great Lakes water levels, agricultural impacts, river flooding, urban stormwater impacts, drought, water temperature, and impacts to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Self-consistent and temporally homogeneous long-term data sets of precipitation and temperature over the entire Great Lakes region and Midwest regions are needed to provide inputs to hydrologic models, assess historical trends in hydroclimatic variables, and downscale global and regional-scale climate models. To support these needs a new hybrid gridded meteorological forcing dataset at 1/16 degree resolution based on data from co-op station records, the U. S Historical Climatology Network (HCN) , the Historical Canadian Climate Database (HCCD), and Precipitation Regression on Independent Slopes Method (PRISM) has been assembled over the Great Lakes and Midwest region from 1915-2012 at daily time step. These data were then used as inputs to the macro-scale Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrology model, implemented over the Midwest and Great Lakes region at 1/16 degree resolution, to produce simulated hydrologic variables that are amenable to long-term trend analysis. Trends in precipitation and temperature from the new meteorological driving data sets, as well as simulated hydrometeorological variables such as snowpack, soil moisture, runoff, and evaporation over the 20th century are presented and discussed.