The Norwest Regional Stream Temperature Database, Model, and Climate Scenarios
Stream temperature regulates the distribution and abundance of many aquatic organisms and is monitored for regulatory purposes. Here, we describe the NorWeST (i.e., NorthWest Stream Temperature) project to develop a comprehensive interagency stream temperature database and high-resolution climate scenarios for the Northwest U.S. The NorWeST database consists of data contributed by >60 state, federal, tribal, and private resource agencies and >50,000,000 hourly temperature recordings at >15,000 unique sites. Those data are used with spatial statistical network models to accurately predict summer temperatures (R2 = 90%; RMSE < 1 ˚C) for historical and future climate scenarios in all reaches within river networks at 1-kilometer resolution. At present, stream temperature scenarios have been developed for 400,000 stream kilometers in Idaho, Montana, and Oregon using data from more than 11,000 monitoring sites. The raw temperature data and stream climate scenarios are made available as ArcGIS geospatial products for download through the NorWeST website when individual river basins are completed (http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/AWAE/projects/NorWeST.shtml). By providing open access to temperature data and scenarios, the project is fostering new research on stream temperatures, more efficient monitoring, and better collaborative management of aquatic resources.