Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes

Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes (CNRCWP)

(Sponsor: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

Canada’s landmass and the Arctic regions offer challenges to Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate projection, due to complex processes and feedbacks between various components of the climate system. A better understanding of these regional climate processes and interactions is crucial to improving the quality of both climate projection and NWP for this region. Dynamical downscaling using nested limited-area models known as Regional Climate Models (RCMs) allows using meshes an order of magnitude finer than operational Global Climate Models (GCMs) over a region of interest, at an affordable computational cost. Therefore RCMs are used to ‘add details’ to GCM simulations.

The CNRCWP is exploiting the added value of high resolution models in the following areas: 1) specific weather and climate phenomena permitted by high-resolution simulations; 2) statistical extremes allowed by fine mesh and land-atmosphere feedbacks; and 3) land surface processes enhanced by improved representation of surface heterogeneity. Our group is contributing to the latter area, more specifically to improved representation of lakes, permafrost and snow in RCMs.

Collaborating institutions: Environment Canada, McGill University, Ouranos Consortium, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Université du Québec à Montréal (lead), University of Northern British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo