Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) University of Wisconsin-Madison Probabilistic Downscaling Dataset

climate coastal disaster response environmental meteorological oceans sustainability water weather


The University of Wisconsin Probabilistic Downscaling (UWPD) is a statistically downscaled dataset based on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models. UWPD consists of three variables, daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperature. The spatial resolution is 0.1°x0.1° degree resolution for the United States and southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains.

The downscaling methodology is not deterministic. Instead, to properly capture unexplained variability and extreme events, the methodology predicts a spatially and temporally varying Probability Density Function (PDF) for each variable. Statistics such as the mean, mean PDF and annual maximum statistics can be calculated directly from the daily PDF and these statistics are included in the dataset. In addition, “standard”, “raw” data is created by randomly sampling from the PDFs to create a “realization” of the local scale given the large-scale from the climate model. There are 3 realizations for temperature and 14 realizations for precipitation.

The directory structure of the data is as follows
The realizations are as follows
prcp_[realization_number][year].nc temp[realization_number][year].nc
The time mean files averaged over certain year bounds are as follows
[year_bound_1][year_bound_2].nc temp_mean[year_bound_1][year_bound_2].nc
The time-mean Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF) files are as follows
[year_bound_1][year_bound_2].nc temp_cdf[year_bound_1][year_bound_2].nc
The CDF of the annual maximum precipitation is given for each year in the record prcp_annual_max_cdf

Update Frequency

Periodically, as new data becomes available or when corrections are implemented.


Open Data. There are no restrictions on the use of this data.


Managed By

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For questions about data development, quality and content, please contact Dr. David Lorenz at
For general questions or feedback about the data and its usage, please submit the inquiries to Hydrometeorological Design Study Center at
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How to Cite

Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) University of Wisconsin-Madison Probabilistic Downscaling Dataset was accessed on DATE from

Usage Examples


Resources on AWS

  • Description
    Resource type
    S3 Bucket
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN)
    AWS Region
    AWS CLI Access (No AWS account required)
    aws s3 ls --no-sign-request s3://noaa-nws-uwpd-cmip5-pds/
    Browse Bucket

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