Natural Hazards

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 1749–1762 | Cite as

Climate input parameters for real-time online risk assessment

  • Richard Petritsch
  • Hubert Hasenauer
Original Paper


Risk assessment of natural hazards is often based on the actual or forecast weather situation. For estimating such climate-related risks, it is important to obtain weather data as frequently as possible. One commonly used climate interpolation routine is DAYMET, which in its current form is not able to update its database for periods of less than a year. In this paper, we report the construction of a new climate database with a standard interface and implement a framework for providing daily updated weather data for online daily weather interpolations across regions. We re-implement the interpolation routines from DAYMET to be compliant with the data handling in the new framework. We determine the optimal number of stations used in two possible interpolation routines, assess the error bounds using an independent validation dataset and compare the results with a previous validation study based on the original DAYMET implementation. Mean absolute errors are 1°C for maximum and minimum temperature, 28 mm for precipitation, 3.2 MJ/m² for solar radiation and 1 hPa for vapour pressure deficit, which is in the range of the original DAYMET routine. Finally, we provide an example application of the methodology and derive a fire danger index for a 1 km grid over Austria.


Interpolation Daily weather data Ecosystem modelling Risk assessment 



This research was partly funded by two projects from the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF): The ‘Austrian Forest Fire Research Initiative’ and ‘Application of ergodic theory within ecosystem modelling’. Thanks to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, for providing the daily climate records. We thank Peter E. Thornton for making the original version of DAYMET available, Herbert Formayer for data handling support and Chris Eastaugh for English language editing. We also thank Prof. Thomas Glade for organising the session on Natural Hazards during the EGU conference 2009 in Vienna and the anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of SilvicultureBOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences ViennaViennaAustria

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