ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

California Climate Activities at the Western Regional Climate Center

Kelly T. Redmond, Ph.D., and Laura Edwards, Desert Research Institute

April 19, 2005
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Presentation: 1. 2.


Part 1 - Kelly T. Redmond: The NOAA-administered Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) addresses climate data and information needs within the eleven western states of the continental U.S., and Alaska and Hawaii. California accounts for about 60 percent of the population of the West, and a roughly proportional share of activities within WRCC. The climate center has had a long-standing relationship with the California state climatologist, a position now undergoing a transition. WRCC has participated in the NOAA Climate Applications Program at Scripps, an element in the national program to understand the role of climate information in the decision making environment, and is working closely with the California Climate Change Center. California Climate Data Archive is a project with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop focused coastal and mountain environments climate information. Under CalFed auspices a large number of 300-500-year-old blue oaks are being cored in the Central Valley to utilize their extremely high correlation with precipitation. Several California stations are being deployed as part of the national 110-station NOAA Climate Reference Network. An NSF project has helped instrument Yosemite Park for hydroclimate studies. The NOAA/NSF Terrain Induced Rotors Experiment features a very dense 16-station network in the Owens Valley. A successor to the Caljet/Pacjet projects is planned for the American River Basin as part of the NOAA Hydromet Test Bed. Another CEC project involves working jointly with Scripps to install climate stations in the Sierra Nevada, and three in the White Mountains, including the highest live weather station in North America. These will be part of a developing Mountain Climate Network for the West, a part of the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research on Western Mountains. The CEC Enhanced California Climate Monitoring project is undertaking deployment of long term climate stations in different parts of the state, and advice and opinions are being sought on locations. These can be used as platforms for additional sensors. An overarching goal is to obtain detailed long term climate data and information for monitoring and research studies. We would like to explore the role that air quality data and research can play in a more comprehensive understanding of California climate and its relationship to larger scale climate drivers.

Part 2 - Laura Edwards: The CalClim project to assemble the California Climate Data Archive (CCDA) and provide products to monitor California climate is now in its second year. Resources at the Western Regional Climate Center have formed a strong foundation for building the CCDA. The CCDA website ( offers a variety of climate data and products at no charge to users from the government and research community. Among these include daily National Weather Service Cooperative Station data, Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) data, and recent climate maps. In addition, California Climate Watch, a monthly online newsletter, is produced. Current projects include the distribution of Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL), California Snow Survey and California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) data via CCDA as well as a metadata inventory. We are also developing tools for visualization of climate data online. Other planned projects include: a coastal climate data archive, the addition of more hourly climate data and development of the air quality-climate connection.

Speaker Biography

Kelly T. Redmond, Ph.D., was born in Wausau Wisconsin, raised in south west Montana, received a B.S. degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1974), and M.S. (1977) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He worked in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Oregon State University from 1982-1989, the last 6 years as State Climatologist for Oregon, and served as President of the American Association of State Climatologists in 1989-90. Since 1989 he has been the Regional Climatologist at the Western Regional Climate Center located at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, and Deputy Director since 1992. His research and professional interests span every facet of climate and climate variability, its physical causes and behavior, how climate interacts with other human and natural processes, and how such information is acquired, used, communicated, and perceived.

Laura Edwards has a B.A. in Physics and French at University of Minnesota, 1999, a M.S. in Meteorology with emphasis in climate studies at University of Maryland, College Park, 2003. While at the University of Maryland, she was the Assistant State Climatologist under Dr. Ken Pickering for 2 years. Since November 2003 she been at the Western Regional Climate Center at Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada, as the California Climate Specialist. This work is funded by the California Energy Commission's PIER (Public Interest Energy Research) program.

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