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Department researchers lead rain data analysis from two centuries ago in Catalonia

M. Carmen Casas, Raúl Rodríguez and Alba Llabrés collaborate with the Meteorological Service of Catalonia and the UB to evaluate the quality of rainfall data since 1855, long before standardized measurements were taken at modern meteorological stations. The reliability of these data is key to understanding the effects of climate change in Catalonia.
Department researchers lead rain data analysis from two centuries ago in Catalonia

There is now a growing interest on the part of weather and climate services around the world in recovering historical data, especially for the improvement of climate change predictions due to a better knowledge of climate variability. Thus, the Meteorological Service of Catalonia deals with the recovery and storage of all the data generated by the network of official meteorological stations in Catalonia during its instrumental history, since the end of the 18th century.

M. Carmen Casas, Raúl Rodríguez-Solà and Alba Llabrés lead the research conducted with the Meteorological Service of Catalonia, and published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology, where the first global way of evaluating the quality of the precipitation database available in Catalonia from 1855 to the present is presented. The research also quantifies the future work necessary to continue improving the database. Researchers present a new quality control procedure for daily rainfall data after having been adjusted and tested with more than ten million data from 1,726 measuring sites in Catalonia. The procedure compares daily data with stations or reference data that are automatically selected after an initial estimate of their quality. Proximity studies on location and correlation are also taken into account. The result can be verified thanks to a network available in the study area whose quality has been routinely controlled by technicians of the Meteorological Service of Catalonia.

The designed quality control provides good results and is applicable to data from different origins, from meteorological stations of the middle of last century to historical manual measurements. Once applied, a selection of series with the required quality is obtained in order to be able to make specific meteorological studies in the future.

Quality control process of the daily rainfall series available in Catalonia from 1855 to the present

Llabrés-Brustenga, A.; Rius , A.; Rodriguez-Solà, R.; M. Carmen Casas-Castillo; Redaño, A.
Theor Appl Climatol (2019)
: 10.1007/s00704-019-02772-5

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