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Quantifying Future Precipitation in the South Central U.S. for Water Resources Planning

Quantifying Future Precipitation in the South Central Region for Stakeholder Planning
Principal Investigator
Jung-Hee Ryu


Start Date
End Date
Release Date


The South Central U.S. is home to diverse climates and ecosystems, strong agricultural and energy sectors, and fast-growing urban areas. All share a critical need for water, which is becoming an increasingly scarce resource across the region as aquifers are overdrawn and populations grow. Understanding what brings rain to this region, and how the timing and amount of precipitation may be affected by climate change, is essential for effective water planning and management, yet community planners and managers have indicated that currently available precipitation forecasts for the South Central are insufficient, due largely to the high levels of uncertainty associated with precipitation projections for the region. This project aims to [...]

Child Items (4)


Principal Investigator :
Jung-Hee Ryu
Co-Investigator :
Sharmistha Swain, Luigi Romolo, Kevin Robbins, Barry Keim, Katharine Hayhoe
Funding Agency :
South Central CSC
Cooperator/Partner :
Amanda Lewis
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

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“Trinity River and the Dallas Skyline. Photo by Alan Cressler”
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The South-Central U.S. is home to diverse climates and ecosystems, strong agricultural and energy sectors, and fast-growing urban areas. All share a common and critical need for water, which is fast becoming an increasingly scarce resource, as aquifers shrink and users multiply. Understanding what brings rain to this region, and how the timing and amounts of future precipitation might be affected by global climate change, is essential to effective planning and water management. This project aims to improve scientific understanding of the local and large-scale processes that bring moisture to the region, and determine drought risk. Our intent is to provide more relevant and useful information for stakeholders throughout the South-Central region. Through analyzing long-term historical weather station records and atmospheric dynamics, we will improve our ability to interpret global climate model simulations and explore the utility and potential application of this information, focusing on stakeholder planning in the Southern Regional Climate Center (SRCC) and Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) regions. Lessons learned from this work will be used to inform the long-term forecasts offered by the SRCC and the SC-CSC to make complex climate information and analyses more approachable, understandable, and actionable for policy-makers, planners, and managers.

Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueRegional stakeholders, planners, and decision-makers require reliable, unbiased information to build community resilience in the face of climate variability, natural disasters (including drought), and extreme climate events. This information becomes even more important under a changing climate, as past conditions no longer serve as a reliable guide to the future. Our goal is to improve our understanding of basic climate science to meet regional stakeholder needs by quantifying uncertainty in precipitation variability and drought as a result of natural variability and human-induced change. Specifically, we aim to resolve the atmospheric and oceanic processes that bring moisture and precipitation into our region, and rigorously test the latest generation of global climate models to identify those capable of simulating the complex dynamics of precipitation across the South-Central region. The 3rd National Climate Assessment, demonstrates how precipitation projections for this region are notoriously uncertain; this analysis aims to narrow the range of uncertainty in future projections for precipitation and drought across the South-Central region, improving the relevance and reliability of climate projections for stakeholder planning. Results of the basic science analysis will be applied by the Southern Regional Climate Center (SRCC) to explore stakeholder informational needs related to precipitation variability, long-term forecasts, and climate projections. Lessons learned during these applications will be used to improve the value of climate science analyses provided by the SC-CSC and SRCC to ecological and human systems management throughout the region, and to develop products that fulfill regional needs for actionable climate information.

Budget Extension

typeAgreement Type
typeAgreement Number

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC f57f0742-dfc4-4fea-bd79-87c146522948
StampID NCCWSC SC14-HK0214

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