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.
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 four month period using a dedicated computing cluster at the Sabalcore facility in the USA.
All of New Zealand was modelled at 12km 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 4km over Auckland and central regions of the country. Further nesting to 1.3km 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.
Applications of the data
- Renewable energy
- Climate studies
- Ocean modelling
- Catchment modelling
- Extreme value analysis
- Forensic analysis