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Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models

Very High-Resolution Dynamic Downscaling of Regional Climate


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The South Central U.S. encompasses a wide range of ecosystem types and precipitation patterns. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches in northwest New Mexico but can exceed 60 inches further east in Louisiana. Much of the region relies on warm-season convective precipitation – that is, highly localized brief but intense periods of rainfall that are common in the summer. This type of precipitation is a significant driver of climate and ecosystem function in the region, but it is also notoriously difficult to predict since it occurs at such small spatial and temporal scales. While global climate models are helpful for understanding and predicting large-scale precipitation trends, they often do not capture many of the smaller [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Ming Xue
Funding Agency :
South Central CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

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“Devils River, TX - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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The south-central U.S. exists in a zone of dramatic transition both in terms of eco-climate system diversity and in terms of occurrence of extreme events (e.g. tornadoes). Ecosystems across much of the region rely on warm-season convective precipitation - a significant climate driver that is extremely challenging to predict on a range of time and space scales. To address this challenge, this project seeks to establish unique, cutting-edge, dynamic downscaling capabilities among the SC CSC partners using a system that is expected to better capture physical variability and extremes as well as their uncertainties, and be able to more accurately quantify the impacts on agriculture, fish and wildlife, water availability and quality, and cultural resources, etc., all of which are key challenges facing the communities of the region. This information will be provided to and is expected to be used by public and private sector managers and decision makers facing climate adaptation challenges.

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Devils River, TX - Credit: Alan Cressler
Devils River, TX - Credit: Alan Cressler


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ScienceBase WMS


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • South Central CASC

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