Iterative interpolation of daily precipitation data over Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Dai, Qingfang
  • This thesis develops an optimal interpolation method that takes daily precipitation values collected from weather stations and produces precipitation estimates on a grid. The method, called Hybrid 2.0, combines EOF-based linear interpolation with the nearest-station method. Gridded monthly precipitation is first obtained via EOF, then distributed among days via nearest station. Hybrid 2.0 builds on an earlier method, called Hybrid 1.0, that applies an inverse-distance weighting method to obtain gridded monthly values. Hybrid 2.0 uses these monthly Hybrid 1.0 values as inputs when constructing EOF functions. The data used in this thesis were obtained from the Meteorological Service of Canada. Few weather stations were located in the northern and mountain regions of Alberta prior to 1950. As a result, the Hybrid 1.0 gridded results underestimate precipitation in these regions for that period. The main contribution of Hybrid 2.0 is a substantial reduction in this bias, obtained by implicitly taking topographic elevation into account. Bias reduction is achieved by extracting EOFs from Hybrid 1.0 output for 1951-2002, when many more stations were present in the northern and mountain regions. Hybrid 2.0 is shown to be more accurate in interpolating both monthly and daily precipitation in Alberta, when compared with Hybrid 1.0 and other methods. The thesis also provides detailed analyses of precipitation trends and droughts using the gridded Hybrid 2.0 daily values. Optimality of the selected EOF modes and sensitivity to data error in the EOF-based linear reconstruction are also discussed in this thesis. Agricultural uses of historical climate data have become extremely important. Applications include: enabling prompt, optimal decisions on market prices and disaster aid, designing future agricultural practices such as adaptation to climate and technology changes, and managing risks for agricultural producers and governments in areas such as drought monitoring. Many applications require a reliable interpolation technique to accurately reconstruct daily climate estimates onto grids of various resolutions. The gridded Hybrid 2.0 daily precipitation values produced by this thesis satisfy this requirement and can be used as inputs for many agricultural applications.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Shen, Samuel (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
    • Hooper, Peter (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Reuter Gerhard (Earth and Atmosphere Sciences)
    • Bowman, John (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
    • James Ramsay (Psychology, McGill University)
    • Lin, Yanping (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)