Interpolation of 1961–97 Daily Temperature and Precipitation Data onto Alberta Polygons of Ecodistrict and Soil Landscapes of Canada
Soil quality models developed for ecodistrict polygons (EDP) and the polygons of the soil landscapes of Canada (SLC) to monitor the concentration of soil organic matter require daily climate data as an important input. The objectives of this paper are (i) to provide a method that interpolates the daily station data onto the 894 SLC polygons and 150 EDP in the province of Alberta, Canada, so that the interpolated data fit not only climate mean but also climate variability, especially for the precipitation field, and hence can be used as realistic climate input to soil quality models and (ii) to understand the variability of the Alberta daily climate, such as precipitation frequency. The procedure interpolates the station data onto a dense network of grid points and then averages the gridpoint values inside polygons. The procedure and results for maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation are reported in detail. The interpolation uses the observed daily data for the period 1 January 1961–31 December 1997 (13 514 days) within the latitude-longitude box (45°–64°N, 116°–124°W). Because the precipitation field can have a short spatial correlation length scale and large variability, a hybrid of the methods of inverse-distance weight and nearest-station assignment is developed for interpolating the precipitation data. This method can reliably calculate not only the number of precipitation days per month, but also the precipitation amount for a day. The temperature field has a long spatial correlation scale, and its data are interpolated by the inverse-distance-weight method. Cross-validation shows that the interpolated results on polygons are accurate and appropriate for soil quality models. The computing algorithm uses all the daily observed climate data; despite that, some stations have a very short time record or only summer records.