Publication Date

2008-01-01

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense

2008-04-14

First Committee Member

David Letson - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Don Olson - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Kenny Broad - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Guillermo Podesta - Committee Member

Abstract

Stochastic weather generators create multiple series of synthetic daily weather (precipitation, maximum temperature, etc.), and ideally these series will have statistical properties similar to those of the input historical data. The synthetic output has many applications and for example, can be used in sectors such as agriculture and hydrology. This work used a ?hybrid? weather generator which consists of a parametric Markov chain for generating precipitation occurrence and a nonparametric k-nearest neighbor method for generating values of maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation. The hybrid weather generator was implemented and validated for use at 11 different locations in the Southeastern United States. A total of 36 graphic diagnostics were used to assess the model?s performance. These diagnostics revealed that the weather generator successfully created synthetic series with most statistical properties of the historical data including extreme wet and dry spell lengths and days of first and last freeze. Climate forecasts are typically provided for seasons or months. Alternatively, process models used for risk assessment often operate at daily time scales. If climate forecasts were incorporated into the daily weather input for process models, stakeholders could then use these models to assess possible impacts on their sector of interest due to anticipated changes in climate conditions. In this work, an ?ad hoc? resampling approach was developed to create sets of daily synthetic weather series consistent with seasonal climate forecasts in the Southeastern United States. In this approach, the output of the hybrid weather generator was resampled based on forecasts in two different formats: the commonly used tercile format and a probability distribution function. This resampling approach successfully created sets of synthetic series which reflected different forecast scenarios (i.e. wetter or drier conditions). Distributions of quarterly total precipitation from the resampled synthetic series were found to be shifted with respect to the corresponding historical distributions, and in some cases, the occurrence and intensity statistics of precipitation in the new weather series had changed with respect to the historical values.

Keywords

Climate Forecasts; Weather Generators

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