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Metrics for assessing growing year climate similarity

Several examples of metrics that may be used to compare climate variables are presented. The examples use cumulative growing degree days and cumulative precipitation during the growing season to derive metrics for the similarity of the climate variable profiles between two or more years. The growing season was defined to be from  May through September, and a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit was used as the base for computing growing degree days. The key metrics use the area between the climate variable  profiles for two years to compute a normalized similarity value that is represented as a circle in a grid allowing two climate variable to be compared simultaneously. The diagonal of the grid is used to indicate the relative average annual temperature of each growing year that is being compared, ranging from blue to red for cold to hot years.

Description Figures
Growing season similarity metrics for years 2007 to 2014. The metrics are for May through September cumulative growing degree days (upper triangle) and cumulative precipitation (lower tringle). Colors along the diagonal indicate average annual temperature relative to the years being compared. Blue indicates cold, red indicates hot and shades of purple indicate intermediate temperatures.
Comparison of growing seasons by year using the average differences in cumulative growing degree days and precipitation relative to the reference year (reference year minus all other years).
Figures for other locations and date ranges are also available.
Plot of initial and final cumulative precipitation and cumulative growing degree days for the May through September growing season. Steeper slopes indicate higher amounts of precipitation during the growing season.
Cumulative growing degree days from May through September..
Cumulative precipitation from May through September.
Year-by-year differences in cumulative growing degree day profiles.

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Last Update: September 22, 2021 11:00 AM

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