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posted on 2024-02-15, 18:06 authored by Arlin D. Nicks, Gene A. Gander

Cligen is a stochastic weather generator which produces daily estimates of precipitation, temperature, dewpoint, wind, and solar radiation for a single geographic point, using monthly parameters (means, SD's, skewness, etc.) derived from the historic measurements. Unlike other climate generators, it produces individual storm parameter estimates, including time to peak, peak intensity, and storm duration, which are required to run the WEPP and the WEPS soil erosion models. Station parameter files to run Cligen for several thousand U. S. sites are available for download from this website: also data and software to build station files for international sites. With the exception of Tmin, Tmax, and Tdew temperatures (changed in January 2004), daily estimates for each parameter are generated independently of the others. With the current random number generator, subsequent runs on the same machine made with identical inputs will produce identical results.

Users of daily simulation models should consider the impacts of Cligen's characteristics on their application. Individual parameter distributions may be expected to reproduce monthly historic distributions quite well. However, if the model in question is sensitive to the daily interactions of two or more of the parameters Cligen produces, Cligen may not be the most appropriate weather generator to use. This is because for a given day, it generates solar radiation, and maximum and minimum temperatures completely independently from precipitation. Experience and common sense tell us that these parameters are NOT independent. In practice this may not be a huge issue, since it is not uncommon for models to be sensitive to one weather parameter on a daily basis, and relatively insensitive to the others, as long as their monthly trends are preserved.

Resources in this dataset:




Data contact name

Frankenberger, Jim


United States Department of Agriculture


  • Not specified

ISO Topic Category

  • environment

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

United States; Agricultural Research Service; soil erosion; Indiana; people; climate models; temperature; dewpoint; wind; solar radiation; statistical analysis; storms; computer software; simulation models; models; Water Erosion Prediction Project; quality control; streams; runoff; prediction; genes; ganders; Oklahoma; death; USDA Forest Service; Idaho; computers; meteorological data; cleaning; Australia; rain intensity; autumn; meteorology; stochastic processes; engineering

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Nicks, Arlin D.; Gander, Gene A. (2019). Cligen. United States Department of Agriculture.