Furthering Our Understanding of the Climate

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Weather Files

Future-shifted weather files have been produced at each of the locations in Canada in the CWEC 2016 dataset. Files are available in the EPW file format which that dataset uses, for three different 30-year periods: the 2020s (roughly current conditions), the 2050s, and the 2080s. Each file is produced using the RCP8.5 concentration pathway, which is a relatively high emissions scenario. If, instead, the world follows a lower emissions trajectory such as RCP4.5, roughly consistent with 2 degrees of warming since the pre-industrial period globally, the 2050s RCP8.5 file would be roughly representative of conditions in 2070s instead. The future-shifting (morphing) follows a modified version of the method described in Ek et al., where a rolling 21-day smoothing is applied to daily adjustments. Additional information on methods is provided in the summary table that accompanies each set of weather files.

Projected changes to Canada's climate may bring a number of impacts and associated risks to buildings and their occupants. In anticipation of this, future-shifted weather files have been used to inform the BC Housing Step Code Design Guide Supplement on Overheating and Air Quality which provides information on key strategies to address overheating and indoor air quality issues that may arise. The files have also been used by the University of British Columbia and RDH Building Science for guidance on Designing Climate Resilient Multifamily Buildings for a changing climate.

The weather files can be accessed by using the Wx Files tool, which allows users to filter by city, province, code, coordinates, elevation and time period, or by browsing the directories in which the weather files are stored. 

The files available as of now are version 2.1 and have recently been extended from BC to all of Canada; see below for a description of version differences.

File Versions

Version

Date

Variables

Data Source

Baseline Period

Other Notes

2.1

July 2020

Thermodynamic

CWEC2016

1998-2014

Morph all thermodynamic variables not just temperatures. Now Canada-wide.

2.0

February 2020

Temperature

CWEC2016

1998-2014

Change the baseline from 1971-2000 to use the period that months are selected from in CWEC2016 (1998-2014)

1.0

October 2019

Temperature

CWEC2016

1971-2000

Data source from CWEC2012 to CWEC2016

0.2

June 2019

Temperature

CWEC2012

1971-2000

First online launch, CWEC locations only

0.1

November 2018

Multiple Options

CWEC2012

1971-2000

Initial beta testing, manually created custom files, some at specific locations bias corrected with PRISM