LNWB Ch04 Climate Data

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Created: Aug 01, 2016 at 11:31 p.m.
Last updated: Oct 05, 2016 at 2:53 p.m.
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The model of watershed hydrology and water management used for the Lower Nooksack Water Budget is Topnet-WM, developed for Water Resources Inventory Area 1 (WRIA 1) in an effort led by researchers from Utah State University, as reported in peer-reviewed publications (Bandaragoda et al., 2004; Ibbitt and Woods, 2004; Tarboton, 2007). The model has also been applied, at finer spatial resolution, to the Fishtrap Creek and Bertrand Creek watersheds (Bandaragoda, 2008; Bandaragoda and Greenberg, 2009). The model processes of Topnet-WM are described in detail in Chapter 2 Model Processes. The daily meteorological variables required by Topnet-WM are precipitation, temperature (minimum and maximum), and wind speed.

Prior to the Lower Nooksack Water Budget project, WRIA 1 Topnet-WM used interpolated climate data (1946-2006) from 19 weather stations located within or near the WRIA 1 boundary. A significant component of the Lower Nooksack Water Budget Project was to update Topnet-WM to use the high resolution (1/8 lat/long degree; approximately one data point every 8 miles) gridded climate dataset that is updated and distributed, on an ongoing basis, by the University of Washington (UW) Land Surface Hydrology Research Group1 , following methods described in Maurer et. al. (2002) and Hamlet and Lettenmaier (2005). This dataset includes daily precipitation, wind speed, and daily maximum and minimum temperatures over the 1915 through 2011 water years (October 1 through September 30).

Figure 1 shows the distribution of the updated mean annual precipitation distribution derived from the Lower Nooksack Water Budget Topnet-WM gridded climate data for the 172 drainages (black dots) in WRIA 1. The lowest annual precipitation values are around Lummi Island and Bellingham (31-38 inches per year) and the highest precipitation values are near Mount Baker (121-207 inches per year). The increase in annual precipitation follows a gradient of increase from the west coast of the watershed to the eastern mountains, reflecting the role of orographic uplift of moist oceanic air masses in generating precipitation in this region.

The purpose for updating climate data used for watershed model inputs is to use the most current and up to date datasets. For the Lower Nooksack Water Budget Topnet-WM model, this includes new Snotel stations, an additional 8 years of daily climate data, and a higher resolution data product, compared to the initially developed Topnet-WM (Tarboton, 2007), which was populated with climate data ending in 2004. Updated climate data helps build our knowledge of the watershed system, since we have more information about when and where water is input to the system as rain and/or snow.

This resource is a subset of the Lower Nooksack Water Budget (LNWB) Collection Resource.

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Collection Contents

Add Title Type Owners Sharing Status Remove
LNWB Ch04 Climate Data - inputs Resource Jimmy Phuong Public & Shareable
LNWB Ch04 Climate Data - processing in Matlab Resource Jimmy Phuong Public & Shareable
LNWB Ch04 Climate Data - outputs Resource Jimmy Phuong Public & Shareable
LNWB Ch04 Climate Data - geodatabase Resource Jimmy Phuong Public & Shareable

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Related Resources

This resource belongs to the following collections:
Title Owners Sharing Status My Permission
Lower Nooksack Water Budget (LNWB) Christina Norton · Jimmy Phuong  Public &  Shareable Open Access
Lower Nooksack Water Budget (LNWB) Bert Rubash  Private &  Shareable None


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
WRIA 1 Joint Board Lower Nooksack Water Budget Whatcom County Contract 201111021


People or Organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
David Tarboton Utah State University 4357973172
Jeremy Freimund Lummi Nation
Mary Dumas Dumas & Associates
Peter Gill Whatcom County Public Works
Mariza Costa-Cabral Hydrology Futures
Bracken Capen Washington State University

How to Cite

Bandaragoda, C., J. Greenberg (2016). LNWB Ch04 Climate Data, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/2d58ac373e4f4174a3050a046aaf121e

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.



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