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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Gem Experience: Weather Generator Technology Development in the USDA

Authors
item Harmel, Daren
item Johnson, Greg - USDA-NRCS
item Richardson, Clarence

Submitted to: Bulletin of the American Meterological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2002
Publication Date: July 1, 2002
Citation: Harmel, R.D., Johnson, G., Richardson, C.W. 2002. The gem experience: weather generator technology development in the usda. Bulletin of the American Meterological Society. 83(7):954-957.

Interpretive Summary: Weather data are critical information for scientific study and management of natural resources because weather directly influences virtually all natural processes. Unfortunately, historical measured data are often either unavailable or of insufficient duration to provide adequate information. Consequently, computer models or "weather generators" are commonly used to generate weather records of precipitation, temperature, solar radiation, humidity, and wind speed for use natural resources study and management. Because of the importance of weather influences on agricultural and natural resource management, two agencies within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - formed a weather simulation team to address the weather simulation issue. This team is comprised of scientists from around the country. The purpose of the team is to develop an improved weather generator for use within USDA.

Technical Abstract: Weather data are critical information for strategic natural resource and environmental planning because weather directly influences virtually all natural phenomena. Unfortunately, historical records for situations and locations of interest are often either unavailable or of insufficient duration to provide adequate information. Consequently, mathematical weather simulation models are commonly used to generate synthetic weather records for use in the study and management of natural resources. Most weather generators are capable of producing one or more components of weather such as precipitation, temperature, solar radiation, humidity and wind speed with the same statistical characteristics as naturally occur for a given location. Because of the importance of weather influences on agricultural and natural resource management, two USDA agencies - the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - formed a collaborative weather simulation team. The USDA weather generator research and development effort is led by scientists from NRCS and ARS locations around the country. The purpose of the team is to develop an improved weather simulation tool for use in natural resource management projects and studies involving, for example, the impacts of management alternatives and climate change on agricultural production, natural vegetation dynamics, water quality, and watershed hydrology.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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