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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-124
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-124
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 05 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Statistical Reconstruction of Daily Precipitation and Temperature Fields in Switzerland back to 1864

Lucas Pfister1,2, Stefan Brönnimann1,2, Mikhaël Schwander3, Francesco Alessandro Isotta3, Pascal Horton1,2, and Christian Rohr1,4 Lucas Pfister et al.
  • 1Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4Institute of History, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Spatial information on past weather contributes to better understand the processes behind day-to-day weather variability and to assess the risks arising from weather extremes. For Switzerland, daily-resolved spatial information on meteorological parameters is restricted to the period starting from 1961, whereas prior to that local station observations are the only source of daily, long-term weather data. While attempts have been made to reconstruct spatial weather patterns for certain extreme events, the task of creating a continuous spatial weather reconstruction dataset for Switzerland has so far not been addressed. Here, we aim to reconstruct daily, high-resolution precipitation and temperature fields for Switzerland back to 1864 with an analogue resampling method (ARM) using station data and a weather type classification. Analogue reconstructions are post-processed with an ensemble Kalman fitting (EnKF) approach and quantile mapping. Results suggest that the presented methods are suitable for daily precipitation and temperature reconstruction. Evaluation experiments reveal an excellent skill for temperature and a good skill for precipitation. As illustrated on the example of the avalanche winter 1887/88, these weather reconstructions have a great potential for various analyses of past weather and for climate impact modelling.

Lucas Pfister et al.
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Statistical Reconstruction of Daily Precipitation and Temperature Fields in Switzerland back to 1864 L. Pfister https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.907579

Lucas Pfister et al.
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Short summary
This paper aims at reconstructing high-resolution, daily precipitation and temperature fields for Switzerland back to 1864 using a statistical approach called the analogue resampling method. Results suggest that the presented methods are suitable for weather reconstruction. As illustrated on the example of the avalanche winter 1887/88, these weather reconstructions have a great potential for various analyses of past weather and for climate impact modelling.
This paper aims at reconstructing high-resolution, daily precipitation and temperature fields...
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