A 33-year atmospheric hindcast for New Zealand was completed in May 2012, and high resolution information is now available for research and consultancy projects. The data are at hourly increments and span the period from 1979 to 2011. It is envisaged that this historical information will provide an invaluable resource to engineers and scientists for environmental investigations and climate analysis. New Zealand experiences a very complex atmospheric regime, and this new data set will provide additional confidence when answering key environmental questions.
- 12 km hindcast over all New Zealand
- 4 km hindcast over Hauraki Gulf and Central NZ
- Further resolution as requested
- Hourly data from 1979-2011
Applications of the data
- Renewable energy
- Climate studies
- Ocean modelling
- Catchment modelling
- Extreme value analysis
- Forensic analysis
Senior Meteorologist Greg Pearson notes that the hindcast was a substantial undertaking, and the data set represents a significant advancement in the toolkit for New Zealand environmental scientists and engineers. “The choice has always been between coarse resolution data over long time periods, or high resolution data over short time periods. This hindcast is both high resolution and spans one third of a century. The goal is to provide ready access to this data set for scientists, engineers and researchers”.
Technique and methodology
The hindcast was constructed using the latest atmospheric modelling techniques (Weather Research and Forecasting model – WRF) and was undertaken by our scientists over a 4 month period using a dedicated computing cluster at the Sabalcore facility in the USA. All of New Zealand was modelled at 12 km resolution, with boundaries provided by Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) data set. However, even 12 km resolution is not fine enough to capture some of the important physical processes over many parts of the country. So, the WRF nesting capability was used to increase resolution to 4 km over Auckland and central regions of the country. Further nesting to 1.3 km is available on request.
Data accuracy validated
The hindcast results have been rigorously validated against measured meteorological data from a range of locations around New Zealand.
For more information contact us.