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Daily Gridded Meteorological Datasets

Gridded meteorological forcing datasets include observed daily station data interpolated to a resolution useful as target datasets for statistical downscaling and hydrologic modelling. Common variables include minimum and maximum temperature, and precipitation. The datasets hosted on this portal are all based on station data, but differ with respect to the selection of stations, their domains, resolution, record length and gridding methodology. The following describes them in reverse chronological order, with the most recently developed listed first.


PCIC-BLEND (1950-2012)

The PCIC-Blend gridded observational dataset was constructed by combining three daily precipitation and temperature observation-based datasets across Canada. These datasets comprise the PCIC meteorology for Northwest North America (PNWNAmet; Werner and Cannon, 2015), NRCANmet V2 daily maximum and minimum temperatures (McKenney et al., 2011), and daily precipitation from NRCANmet-Adjusted (Wang et al., 2017). The blended dataset was developed to combine the updated, improved performance of the newer NRCANmet products with the still superior performance of PNWNAmet in representing precipitation in western Canada. Gridded observations in each dataset were generated by interpolating quality-controlled weather station observations. Further information about PNWNAmet and NRCANmet V1 can be found elsewhere on this page. NRCANmet V2 is an updated version of NRCANmet V1 using recently produced Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data Generation 3 observations (Vincent et al., 2020), while NRCANmet-Adjusted uses daily precipitation derived from Adjusted Daily Rainfall and Snowfall stations (Wang et al., 2017). The three datasets were smoothly blended using a sigmoidal, unit weighting function over a transition region east of the Rocky Mountain Range from the Arctic Ocean to the US border. PCIC-Blend combines PNWNAmet in western Canada (daily maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) with NRCANmet V2 (daily maximum and minimum temperature) and Adjusted (precipitation) in central and eastern Canada. The PCIC-Blend dataset was also used to calibrate the CanDCS-M6 scenarios available on the PCIC Statistically Downscaled Scenarios Page.

PNWNAmet (1945-2012)

The PNWNAmet dataset was created circa 2014 at 1/16° (~6km) over a domain covering northwest North America (NWNA; 40°N to 72°N and -169°W to -101°W). PNWNAmet was created using the trivariate thin plate spline interpolation method with the algorithm implemented by Nychka et al. (2017). Minimum temperature, maximum temperature and precipitation were interpolated separately using latitude, longitude and a 1971-2000 climatology from ClimateWNA (v5.10) as predictors. ClimateWNA uses bilinear interpolation and an elevation adjustment  to create a scale-free, smooth at the boundaries, mosaic of available climatologies (Wang et al., 2006). Climatologies included were the latest available for the provinces, territories and states within NWNA, such as the 800 m, 1971-2000, PRISM products for BC and the contiguous US (Anslow, 2015; Daly et al., 2008). Elevation used in ClimateWNA was derived from the GEMTED2010 digital elevation model (Danielson and Gesch, 2011). Precipitation occurrence and square-root transformed precipitation amounts were interpolated separately on each day, combined, and transformed back to original units. After interpolation, the raw daily minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation surfaces were rescaled so that their climatological monthly means matched those of ClimateWNA following Hunter and Meentemeyer (2005). Wind data is also included, which is derived by re-gridding 10-m wind speed from the 20th Century Reanalysis V2 (20CR2) (Compo et al., 2011), as these are required by the VIC-GL hydrologic model. The wind data have not been adjusted to take wind field deformation by small-scale topographic features into account.

Station records were obtained from the second generation of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data (AHCCD) (Mekis and Vincent, 2011; Vincent et al., 2012, 2002), the homogenized United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) in the contiguous US (Williams et al., 2006) and the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily (GHCN-Daily) in Alaska (Menne et al., 2012). To maintain temporal consistency, selected stations had to have at least 40 years of complete records (< 10% missing days within a year) over the 1945-2012 period. To supplement sparse observations around the western and northern coasts of Alaska, daily data from  20CR2 (Compo et al., 2011) were used as virtual stations as they were the only daily reanalysis data available that cover the full 1945-2012 period. 

Please cite as Werner, A.T., Schnorbus, M.A., Shrestha, R.R., Cannon, A.J., Zwiers, F.W., Dayon G. and Anslow, F., 2019. A long-term, temporally consistent, gridded daily meteorological dataset for northwestern North America, Scientific Data, 6, 180299, doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.299.

NRCANmet (1950-2012)

The NRCANmet observational dataset was produced by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and is available at 300 arc second spatial resolution (1/12° grids, ~10 km) over Canada. The bulk of the daily minimum and maximum temperature, and precipitation amounts for the period 1950-2012 were produced circa 2011 by Hopkinson et al. (2011) and McKenney et al. (2011) on behalf of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), NRCan. The dataset was updated in 2013 to correct for issues in the Churchill River area. Gridding was accomplished with the Australian National University Spline (ANUSPLIN) implementation of the trivariate thin plate splines interpolation method (Hutchinson et al., 2009) with latitude, longitude and elevation as predictors. Precipitation occurrence and square-root transformed precipitation amounts were interpolated separately on each day, combined, and transformed back to original units. 

Quality-controlled, but unadjusted, station data from the National Climate Data Archive (NCDA) of Environment and Climate Change Canada data (Hutchinson et al., 2009) were interpolated onto the high-resolution grid using thin plate splines.  Station density varies over time with changes in station availability, peaking in the 1970s with a general decrease towards the present day (Hutchinson et al., 2009). Thus, the number of stations active across Canada between 1950 and 2011 ranged from 2000 to 3000 for precipitation and 1500 to 3000 for air temperature (Hopkinson et al., 2011). 


The data is subject to PCIC's terms of use.


This data product is provided by the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium with an open license on an “AS IS” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied, as to its accuracy or completeness. Any reliance you place upon the information contained here is your sole responsibility and strictly at your own risk. In no event will the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising from reliance upon the data or derived information.


Anslow, F.S., 2015: Climate Analysis and Monitoring - Research Plan: 2015-2019. The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium.

Compo, G.P., J.S. Whitaker, P.D. Sardeshmukh, N. Matsui, R.J. Allan, X. Yin, B.E. Gleason, R.S. Vose, G. Rutledge, P. Bessemoulin, S. Brönnimann, M. Brunet, R.I. Crouthamel, A.N. Grant, P.Y. Groisman, P.D. Jones, M.C. Kruk, A.C. Kruger, G.J. Marshall, M. Maugeri, H.Y. Mok, Ø. Nordli, T.F. Ross, R.M. Trigo, X.L. Wang, S.D. Woodruff and S.J. Worley, 2011: The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 137, 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.776.

Daly, C., Halbleib, M., Smith, J.I., Gibson, W.P., Doggett, M.K., Taylor, G.H., Curtis, J., Pasteris, P.P., Usda, N., 2008. Physiographically sensitive mapping of climatological temperature and precipitation across the conterminous United States.

Danielson, J.J., Gesch, D.B., 2011. Global multi-resolution terrain elevation data 2010 (GMTED2010) U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1073, 26 p.

Hopkinson, R.F., McKenney, D.W., Milewska, E.J., Hutchinson, M.F., Papadopol, P., Vincent, L.A., 2011. Impact of Aligning Climatological Day on Gridding Daily Maximum–Minimum Temperature and Precipitation over Canada. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol. 50, 1654–1665. https://doi.org/10.1175/2011JAMC2684.1.

Hunter, R.D., Meentemeyer, R.K., 2005. Climatologically Aided Mapping of Daily Precipitation and Temperature. J. Appl. Meteorol. 44, 1501–1510. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAM2295.1.

Hutchinson, M.F., McKenney, D.W., Lawrence, K., Pedlar, J.H., Hopkinson, R.F., Milewska, E., Papadopol, P., 2009. Development and Testing of Canada-Wide Interpolated Spatial Models of Daily Minimum–Maximum Temperature and Precipitation for 1961–2003. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol. 48, 725–741. https://doi.org/10.1175/2008JAMC1979.1.

McKenney, D.W., Hutchinson, M.F., Papadopol, P., Lawrence, K., Pedlar, J., Campbell, K., Milewska, E., Hopkinson, R.F., Price, D., Owen, T., 2011. Customized Spatial Climate Models for North America. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 92, 1611–1622. https://doi.org/10.1175/2011BAMS3132.1.

Mekis, É., Vincent, L.A., 2011. An Overview of the Second Generation Adjusted Daily Precipitation Dataset for Trend Analysis in Canada. Atmosphere-Ocean 49, 163–177. https://doi.org/doi: 10.1080/07055900.2011.583910.

Menne, M.J., Durre, I., Vose, R.S., Gleason, B.E., Houston, T.G., 2012. An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily Database. J. Atmospheric Ocean. Technol. 29, 897–910. https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00103.1.

Nychka, D., Furrer, R., Paige, J., Sain, S., 2017. fields: Tools for Spatial Data.

Vincent, L.A., Wang, X.L., Milewska, E.J., Wan, H., Yang, F., Swail, V., 2012. A second generation of homogenized Canadian monthly surface air temperature for climate trend analysis. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres 117, D18110. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012JD017859.

Vincent L.A., M.M. Hartwell and X.L Wang, 2020: A Third Generation of Homogenized Temperature for Trend Analysis and Monitoring Changes in Canada’s Climate. Atmosphere-Ocean 58(3):173–191, DOI 10.1080/07055900.2020.1765728

Vincent, L.A., Zhang, X., Bonsal, B.R., Hogg, W.D., 2002. Homogenzation of daily temperatures over Canada. J. Clim. 15, 1322–1334.

Wang, T., Hamann, A., Spittlehouse, D.L., Aitken, S.N., 2006. Development of scale-free climate data for Western Canada for use in resource management. Int. J. Climatol. 26, 383–397. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1247.

Wang, X.L., H. Xu, B. Qian, Y. Feng and E. Mekis, 2017: Adjusted Daily Rainfall and Snowfall Data for Canada. Atmosphere-Ocean 55(3):155–168, DOI 10.1080/07055900.2017.1342163

Williams, C.N., Vose, R.S., Easterling, D.R., Menne, M.J., 2006. United States Historical Climatology Network Daily Temperature, Precipitation, and Snow Data. (No. ORNL/CDIAC-118, NDP-070.). Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Werner A.T. and A.J. Cannon, 2015: Hydrologic extremes – an intercomparison of multiple gridded statistical downscaling methods. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci Discuss12(6):6179–6239, DOI 10.5194/hessd-12-6179-2015

Werner, A.T., Schnorbus, M.A., Shrestha, R.R., Cannon, A.J., Zwiers, F.W., Dayon G., Anslow, F., 2019. A long-term, temporally consistent, gridded daily meteorological dataset for northwestern North America, Scientific Data, 6, 180299, doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.299.