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Nat Hazards

DOI 10.1007/s11069-015-1757-z
ORIGINAL PAPER

ROCADA: a gridded daily climatic dataset


over Romania (19612013) for nine meteorological
variables
Alexandru Dumitrescu1 Marius-Victor Birsan1

Received: 14 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2015


Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Abstract Daily records of nine meteorological variables covering the interval 19612013
were used in order to create a state-of-the-art homogenized climatic dataset over Romania at a
spatial resolution of 0.1. All meteorological stations with full data records, as well as stations
with up to 30 % missing data, were used for the following variables: air pressure (150
stations); minimum, maximum, and average air temperature (150 stations); soil temperature
(127 stations); precipitation (188 stations); sunshine hours (135 stations); cloud cover (104
stations); relative humidity (150 stations). For each parameter, the data series were first
homogenized with the software MASH (Multiple Analysis of Series for Homogenization);
then, the data series were gridded by means of the software MISH (Meteorological Interpolation based on Surface Homogenized Data). The datasets are freely available on request on
the PANGAEA data portal (doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.833627).
Keywords ROCADA  Climatic dataset  Gridded data  Homogenization 
Spatial interpolation  MASH  MISH  Romania

1 Introduction
The realization and availability of high-quality climatic data are essential for the realistic
assessment of the impacts of climate variability and change on a region. The creation of
gridded datasets by means of interpolation techniques using the local data values (i.e.,

Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11069-015-1757-z)


contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
& Marius-Victor Birsan
marius.birsan@gmail.com; marius.birsan@meteoromania.ro
Alexandru Dumitrescu
alexandru.dumitrescu@gmail.com; dumitrescu@meteoromania.ro
1

Department of Climatology, Meteo Romania (National Meteorological Administration), Sos.


Bucuresti-Ploiesti 97, 013686 Bucharest, Romania

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Nat Hazards

weather stations records) allows the estimation of the climatological characteristics for
locations or areas where measurements are not available (Sluiter 2012). Gridded data are
essential for evaluating the performance of regional climate models, and they serve as
input data for spatially distributed agrometeorological and hydrological models (e.g.,
Tveito et al. 2006; Birsan 2013).
Within the framework of the project CARPATCLIM (Climate of the Carpathian Region), funded by the EU Joint Research Centre, the national meteorological services from
nine countries (Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic,
Croatia and Austria) joined efforts in order to build a daily gridded climatology of the
Carpathian Mountains region, with Romania covering over one-third of the area. The
project represented a good opportunity to update the data inventory (together with their
gaps, quality and homogeneity), and its scientific usefulness has already been proved by
several studies (e.g., Lakatos et al. 2013; Spinoni et al. 2014; Birsan et al. 2014a; Cheval
et al. 2014a).
Here, we present the realization and evaluation of a daily gridded climatic dataset over
Romania (ROCADAROmanian ClimAtic DAtaset), for nine meteorological variables,
and spanning over the period 19612013. We applied the same homogenization and
gridding software package used in the CARPATCLIM project, due to its tested performance, reliability and speed. A comparison with the E-OBS (Haylock et al. 2008) and
APHRODITE (Yatagai et al. 2012) datasets and with raw time series from some independent weather stations (i.e., stations that were not involved in the creation of any of the
two gridded datasets) is also presented.
Several recent studies have dealt with the climatic changes over Romania, regarding not
only the increase in precipitation and air temperature extremes (e.g., Ionita et al. 2012;
Busuioc et al. 2014; Rimbu et al. 2014; Stefanescu et al. 2014), but also the terrestrial
stilling (Birsan et al. 2013), seasonal or annual changes in relative humidity, cloud cover,
number of sunshine hours (Dumitrescu et al. 2014; Marin et al. 2014), the snow pack
decrease (Birsan and Dumitrescu 2014a; Micu 2009), as well as changes in streamflow
regime (Birsan et al. 2012, 2014; Birsan 2015; Ionita et al. 2014; Ionita 2015),
evapotranspiration (Croitoru et al. 2013) or drought (Cheval et al. 2014b). These studies
demonstrate the importance of making available a quality-controlled, daily climatic dataset
covering the entire Romania and extending over a long period of time.

2 Location and data


Covering an area of 238 391 km2, Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe.
The terrain is fairly equally distributed between mountainous (Carpathians), hilly and
lowland territories. Elevation varies from sea level to 2544 m.a.s.l. It has a continental
temperate climate with various influences: oceanic in the central and western parts, continental in the east and Mediterranean in the south. The agricultural land covers 62 % of
Romania, while forested areas occupy about one-third of the country (e.g., Balteanu et al.
2010).
The construction of the gridded dataset was realized using daily time series with full
data record over 19612013, as well as some additional data series with at least 70 % data
completeness (for a better spatial coverage), for nine meteorological variables, namely air
pressure (mb): 150 stations; minimum, maximum and average air temperature (C): 150
stations; soil temperature (C): 127 stations; precipitation (mm): 188 stations and rain

123

Nat Hazards

gauges; number of sunshine hours (h): 135 stations; cloud cover (scale 110): 104 stations;
relative humidity (%): 150 stations.
All time series were extracted from the climatic database of the Romanian National
Meteorological Administration (Meteo Romania). The related weather stations are located
at elevations ranging from 1 to 2506 m.a.s.l. and have a good coverage both spatially and
with respect to elevation (Fig. 1). The stations characteristics and their data record completeness for each parameter are listed in Table 1.

3 Methods
For each parameter, the station data series were homogenized with the software MASH
v3.03 (Multiple Analysis of Series for Homogenization), formulated and developed by
Szentimrey (1999). MASH is a relative homogenization method that makes no a priori
assumption regarding the data homogeneity, and it uses an exhaustive searching scheme to
detect the most probable break and shift points in the data series from each weather station.
Within MASH, data completion and quality control are performed automatically. The
distribution of the examined meteorological element is taken into account for using an
additive model (e.g., for temperature) or a multiplicative one (e.g., for precipitation), while
corrections are applied to the inhomogeneous series until no break is found. The homogenization of daily data uses the parameterization results obtained from monthly data
homogenization (Szentimrey 2008, 2011).
In a study comparing several widely used homogenization methods, Costa and Soares
(2009) found the MASH method to be one of the most comprehensive procedures for
homogenization. The quality of the homogenized data series is evaluated by the joint

Fig. 1 Spatial distribution of meteorological station involved in this work

123

123

622250

805657

635658

401321

634322

428307

614740

Alexandria

Arad

Ardusat

Aries eni

Avram Iancu-Varfuri
Avrameni

Bacau

Baia-Mare
Bailes ti

Bais oara

Banloc

Baraolt
Bases ti

Bechet

Berzeasca
Bacles

Barlad

Bistrit a

Blaj

Boit a

Boiu Mare

Borod

Botiza

10

11

12

13

14

16

17

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

18

15

628246

Adjud

740409

659236

724335

538416

611355

708430

439157

347357

728310

605537

523108

740330

739322

608121

359521

606705

408800

Adamclisi

ID

Station name

Nr

19

28

29

PP

12

13

15

10

16

CC

18.9

0.4

0.2

1.8

28.2

28.7

0.5

0.4

AP

19

28

29

RH

19

29

16

SH

19

29

TS

19

28

29

TA

24.15000

22.59161

23.58333

24.27318

23.93677

24.51545

27.64558

23.11458

21.95000

23.94569

23.16667

25.59740

21.13797

23.31182

23.33262

23.49324

26.91407

26.95000

22.83333

22.76667

23.36667

21.35522

25.35437

27.17181

27.96713

LON (E)

47.66667

46.99392

47.40000

45.65318

46.17882

47.14942

46.23136

44.47672

44.65000

43.79006

47.46667

46.08104

45.38305

46.53577

44.02951

47.66121

46.53215

48.08333

46.36667

46.46667

47.65000

46.13385

43.97829

46.10502

44.08862

LAT (N)

Table 1 List of the stations involved in the analysis, including their station code, location, elevation and completeness of the data record for all parameters

506.4

334.7

426.6

484.8

275.8

371.1

160.4

313.2

84.7

39.3

189.6

506.9

80.1

1319.3

56.2

196.8

185.3

234.3

923.2

863.9

160.5

115.6

74.0

103.3

157.1

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

Botos ani

Bozovici
Braila

Bras ov

Bucures ti Afumat i
Bucures ti Baneasa

Bucures ti Filaret
Buzau

Buzias

Cacica

Calafat

Calaras i

26

27

29

30

32

34

35

36

37

702556

517545

517507

Ceahlau-Sat

Chis ineu Cris


Campeni (Bistra)
Campina

Campulung

Cluj-Napoca
Campulung Moldovenesc

41

42

44

45

46

Cojocna

Constant a

Corugea

48

49

50

47

43

656555

40

444820

413838

645350

732534

647334

622303

632130

525215

406421

Caracal

Caransebes
Ceahlau Toaca

39

412721

359257

738554

539136

509649

425606

430608

430613

542532

512755

455200

741640

ID

38

33

31

28

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

25

28

13

25

PP

19

17

CC

1.6

24.5

0.4

5.1

27.8

5.5

0.2

14.7

26

5.7

AP

25

28

15

26

RH

16

12

17

28

13

27

11

SH

16

28

29

14

25

10

TS

25

28

15

26

TA

28.34358

28.64638

23.83333

25.56667

23.57299

25.03814

25.75395

23.04195

21.54300

25.93333

25.95151

22.22684

24.35881

27.33986

22.94757

25.90000

21.60000

26.85300

26.09532

26.07976

26.21429

25.52772

27.92119

22.00774

26.64704

LON (E)

44.73470

44.21409

46.75000

47.53333

46.77799

45.27515

45.14448

46.36410

46.51894

47.03333

46.97776

45.41756

44.10044

44.20643

43.98525

47.63333

45.65000

45.13291

44.41236

44.51082

44.50039

45.69613

45.20699

44.91865

47.73605

LAT (N)

221.3

17.8

335.2

641.4

404.2

684.7

477.5

595.6

92.9

709.9

1823.1

214.4

110.2

17.1

61.5

477.1

124.5

90.0

85.9

90.9

81.5

538.4

12.1

250.1

122.1

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

123

123

444417

614436

Crucea (Constant a)

Cuntu

Curtea de Arges
Dalga

Dedules ti

Dej

Deva

Dobra (Alba)

Dorohoi

Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Dragas ani

Dumbraveni

Dumitra
Fagaras

Falticeni
Faurei

Fetes ti

Focs ani

Forotic

Fundata

Fundulea

Galat i

Garnic

53

54

55

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

67

68

69

70

71

72

73

74

75

66

56

Craiova

52

445148

530801

428632

528518

514135

541712

422751

505719

728620

551459

713428

438238

756625

546339

553254

709352

500432

425702

509441

518231

432814

414352

722657

Cotnari

51

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

10

30

25

28

26

PP

16

12

CC

29.8

24.5

29.8

0.2

0.1

28.6

26.3

0.4

AP

30

25

30

29

27

RH

17

25

29

29

27

SH

30

25

29

28

TS

30

25

29

29

27

TA

21.80000

28.03393

26.52505

25.27327

21.58333

27.20129

27.84048

27.31667

26.33333

24.93672

24.46667

24.59318

24.23871

22.62765

26.41667

23.65000

22.90046

23.90050

24.57179

27.03333

24.67128

22.50305

28.23333

23.86846

26.92741

LON (E)

44.75000

45.47330

44.45323

45.43191

45.23333

45.68788

44.39178

45.08333

47.46667

45.83636

47.21667

46.22825

44.66576

44.62673

47.93333

45.76667

45.86504

47.12826

45.01629

44.41667

45.17917

45.30081

44.53333

44.31060

47.35867

LAT (N)

487.6

67.1

65.0

1330.7

138.1

49.1

52.7

38.7

262.2

429.3

355.0

320.0

263.5

60.1

223.5

507.3

241.0

236.6

551.2

45.0

453.2

1465.4

91.8

185.9

274.7

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

543209

441757

635200

425730

Grivit a

Gurahont
Hauzes ti

Hars ova

Holod

Huedin

Hus i

Ias i

Iezer

Ighiu
Intorsura Buzaului

Jidvei

Joseni

Jurilovca
Lacaut i

Lugoj
Maicanes ti

Mangalia
Maraus

Marcules ti

78

79

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

89

90

91

93

95

97

Medgidia

Miercurea Ciuc

Miersig

98

99

100

96

94

92

88

80

Gorgova

77

653150

622544

415816

349835

530729

541154

551621

446853

642540

614406

541601

609331

737439

710736

641803

651305

646207

617220

445718

511912

352557

Giurgiu

76

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

30

28

28

13

PP

15

14

CC

29.9

27.8

0.4

3.8

27.8

4.4

13.1

0.7

9.7

AP

30

28

28

13

10

RH

30

11

20

28

12

17

17

SH

30

28

28

14

11

TS

30

28

28

13

10

TA

21.83333

25.77417

28.25288

27.50000

22.00000

28.58898

27.48333

21.93463

26.37708

28.87793

25.51417

24.10000

26.05830

23.51667

24.65073

27.63008

28.05000

23.03412

22.11387

27.96508

22.15000

22.33490

27.29599

29.15827

25.93422

LON (E)

46.88333

46.37158

44.24356

44.41667

46.58333

43.81647

45.50000

45.68673

45.82401

44.76641

46.70608

46.23333

45.66855

46.15000

47.60283

47.17106

46.68333

46.85765

46.78890

44.69200

45.71667

46.27951

44.74096

45.17711

43.87547

LAT (N)

120.8

668.1

71.5

34.9

211.6

2.1

15.5

121.4

1774.2

31.9

751.6

263.9

697.8

286.0

1790.3

95.0

135.0

557.7

155.8

32.0

299.7

162.2

43.8

0.6

23.2

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

123

123

523328

519622

Negres ti (Vaslui)
Ocna Sugatag

Ocland

Odorheiul Secuiesc
Ohaba-Matnic

Onces ti

Oradea

Oravit a
Paclis a

Pades (Apa Neagra)


Paltinis

Panciu

Parincea
Parang

103

105

106

108

109

110

112

113

114

115

Patarlagele

Petros ani

Piatra Neamt

Pietroasele

Pites ti

Ploies ti

Poiana Stampei

Polovragi

Potlogi

117

118

119

120

121

122

123

124

125

116

111

107

104

Moldova Veche

102

435535

511349

719507

457600

452452

502608

656621

525323

629707

555705

539357

501252

534253

502141

703156

628716

528205

618518

610526

747356

650727

444127

627629

Moines ti

101

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

25

23

27

PP

10

10

12

19

CC

0.1

4.1

25.4

0.1

0.4

0.1

0.4

22.7

26.7

1.6

2.9

9.4

5.5

AP

25

23

27

RH

25

10

19

21

10

22

14

21

12

SH

27

23

27

TS

25

23

27

TA

25.58333

23.81015

25.13604

25.98899

24.86746

26.57720

26.39090

23.37825

26.37080

23.46462

27.11667

27.08333

23.93400

22.86105

22.88333

21.71184

21.89755

27.26667

22.08333

25.29334

25.43333

23.94214

27.44370

21.63461

26.48333

LON (E)

44.58333

45.16587

47.32492

44.95609

44.84929

45.09735

46.93402

45.40661

45.32496

45.38769

46.48333

45.91667

45.65751

44.99714

45.56667

45.03896

47.03602

46.46667

45.46667

46.29709

46.16667

47.77737

46.83833

44.72285

46.45000

LAT (N)

137.8

532.4

911.8

179.1

323.3

252.9

359.8

606.2

285.6

1474.7

282.6

269.2

1429.6

260.4

382.1

257.5

132.5

202.0

222.6

497.2

549.3

504.2

123.1

78.9

567.6

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

716335

534228

722205

645410

Ragla-Cetate
Rarau

Ramnicu Sarat
Ramnicu Valcea

Roman

Ros iori de Vede

Rus

Rusca Montana (Covasna)


Sacuieni

128

130

132

133

134

135

136

Sebes (Alba)

Semenic
Sfantu Gheorghe (Delta)
Sfantu Gheorghe (Munte)

Sibiu

Sighetul Marmat iei

Sinaia (1500)
Sannicolau Mare

Solont

139

140

142

143

144

145

147

Soveja

Spermezeu

S tei

148

149

150

146

141

Sarmas u

Satu Mare

137

138

131

129

632229

718410

600640

633633

604037

523530

758355

548409

552548

454936

507158

557334

748253

407500

655650

506422

523703

727527

704437

751555

530535

Predeal
Radauti

127

126

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

28

19

10

25

PP

20

20

18

18

CC

0.4

0.1

0.1

28.2

0.3

18.9

0.1

24.6

AP

28

19

25

RH

29

10

19

SH

29

19

TS

28

19

25

TA

22.46809

24.16667

26.66667

26.55000

20.60316

25.51571

23.90588

24.09294

25.80371

29.60052

22.05712

23.54309

22.88878

24.16140

22.09580

22.46667

23.58333

24.98003

26.91339

24.38098

27.04016

25.56821

24.61667

25.89185

25.58510

LON (E)

46.52832

47.30000

46.00000

46.55000

46.07163

45.35526

47.93957

45.78970

45.87192

44.89687

45.18173

45.96453

47.72177

46.74794

47.34447

45.56667

47.26667

44.10774

46.96946

45.08919

45.39075

47.45019

47.06667

47.83801

45.50646

LAT (N)

280.6

328.9

525.8

391.5

80.3

1485.5

273.2

444.2

525.6

0.7

1427.0

254.9

120.2

373.3

113.6

379.3

289.8

103.1

218.9

230.9

140.5

1545.6

467.1

386.3

1083.5

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

123

123

632432

600608

Stolnici

Suceava

Sulina

Sumurducu

Supuru De Jos

T arcu

T ebea

Tecuci
Targu Neamt

Targu Ocna
Targu Jiu
Targu Logresti
Targu Mures

153

154

155

156

157

158

159

160

162

Tileagd

Timis oara
Targovis te

168

169

T it es ti

Titu

Toplit a

Toporu

Tulcea

171

172

173

174

175

170

Targu Secuiesc

T ibucanii De Sus

166

167

165

164

163

161

511849

401539

655522

439534

526423

456526

546115

704212

707631

453344

502317

617637

714623

551716

610244

515231

728247

652326

509940

739615

436447

642324

732353

Stoiceni (Targu Lapus )


StolnaSavadisla

151

152

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

10

10

19

PP

18

16

CC

0.7

3.7

27.8

0.2

7.5

0.4

18.8

AP

28

19

RH

16

22

SH

14

26

TS

28

19

TA

28.82569

25.65000

25.36153

25.58074

24.38333

25.42726

21.25936

22.20000

26.51667

26.11687

24.53533

23.71024

23.26088

26.64259

26.38059

27.41036

22.72770

22.53434

22.78531

23.40000

29.76045

26.24196

24.79153

23.40000

23.88333

LON (E)

45.19084

44.01667

46.92664

44.65320

45.43333

44.92991

45.77146

47.06667

47.11667

45.99324

46.53368

44.87842

45.04096

46.27296

47.21243

45.84195

46.16976

45.28117

47.45536

46.86667

45.14869

47.63328

44.56288

46.70000

47.53333

LAT (N)

1.8

86.9

662.8

155.5

640.0

297.1

89.2

172.7

404.3

569.6

308.2

267.4

201.2

244.0

384.8

59.2

273.6

2151.9

157.4

498.1

358.6

208.2

611.1

530.2

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

Urziceni
Varadia De Mures

Vaslui
Varful Omu

Videle

Viziru
Vladeasa 1800
Vlades ti (Arges )

179

181

182

183

184

711305

525358

511454

646247

500743

417530

527527

639744

602213

443639

29

PP

11

11

10

CC

2.5

29.2

0.2

0.1

22.6

AP

29

23

RH

10

SH

29

26

TS

29

23

TA

23.04836

23.96855

24.90000

22.79579

27.71667

25.53854

25.45826

27.71583

22.15242

26.65856

24.87977

23.79284

26.66667

LON (E)

PP precipitation, CC cloud cover, AP air pressure, RH relative humidity, SH sunshine hours, TS soil temperature, TA air temperature

Regarding air temperature, the percentages of data record completeness are similar to the minimum, maximum and average data series

188

187

186

185

Voineasa
Zalau

Turnu Magurele

178

180

346452

Turda

177

555640

635347

Tulnici

176

ID

Station name

Nr

Table 1 continued

47.19528

45.41150

45.18333

46.75956

45.00000

44.28326

45.44614

46.64624

46.01949

44.72195

43.76042

46.58339

45.91667

LAT (N)

301.6

739.1

506.1

1833.9

15.2

103.7

2478.3

109.8

147.8

57.9

31.2

424.2

540.0

Elevation
[m.a.s.l.]

Nat Hazards

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comparative mathematical examination of the original and the homogenized series systems
(Costa and Soares 2009). The good performance of MASH was also demonstrated in a
recent study dealing with benchmarking of homogenization algorithms (Venema et al.
2012), within the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action

Fig. 2 Multiannual means (19612013) for each parameter. The bottom right map shows the locations of
the six independent stations used in the quantitative analysis

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ES0601: Advances in homogenization methods of climate series: an integrated approach


(HOME).
The gridding was based on the software MISH (Meteorological Interpolation based on
the Surface Homogenized Data Basis), version 1.03, developed by Szentimrey and Bihari
(2004, 2005). The main advantage of MISH over most geostatistical methodswhere the
predictors refer to a single realization in timeconsists in statistically estimating trend
differences and covariances using long-term climatological time series. Therefore, when
these parameters are known, they provide much more information than when using only
the predictors of a single realization. The MISH method (Szentimrey and Bihari 2007) is
especially developed to incorporate information from time series in the interpolation
procedure and is capable to include ancillary data. The software consists of two parts: (1)
the modeling part and (2) the interpolation one. The modeling system for statistical climate
parameters is based on the long homogenized data series and supplementary model variables. As in MASH, the interpolation system contains an additive (e.g., for temperature) or
multiplicative (e.g., for precipitation) model and an interpolation formula that can be used
depending on the climate elements. The interpolation system is applied to the results of the
modeling system. The interpolation error or representativity is also modeled (Tveito et al.
2006).

4 Results and discussion


It is worth mentioning that, beyond their advanced theoretical background, both MASH
(homogenization) and MISH (interpolation) programs performed admirably in terms of
reliability, speed and user requirements. After applying the two programs to each of the
nine meteorological variables, the output data were converted to NetCDF (network
Common Data Form) format, a CSV (comma-separated values) version of the dataset
being also available. The dataset managed to capture well the orographical effects for all
parameters, as Fig. 2 shows.
A quantitative analysis of the ROCADA dataset has been carried out by comparing the
precipitation and temperature data from six independent stations (Table 2)by independent stations we refer to stations that were not involved in the construction of the
gridded datasets; their location is shown in Fig. 2bottom left (for soil temperature, only
four out of six stations had available data). The time series from these stations were
compared with the time series extracted from the corresponding grid cells, from ROCADA,
E-OBS and APHRODITE datasets.
Table 2 Meteorological stations used for comparing the raw data records with the time series from their
corresponding pixels from E-OBS and ROCADA gridded datasets
Name

Station
code

Latitude
(N)

Longitude
(E)

Altitude
(m.a.s.l.)

Time series
coverage

Alba Iulia

15280

46.0639

23.5634

252

19792013

Gura Portit ei
Obars ia Lotrului

15428

44.6901

29.0005

19862013

15297

45.4355

23.6308

1348

19762013

Stana de Vale
Targu Lapus

15118

46.6898

22.6234

1108

19792013

15047

47.4396

23.8722

375

19872013

Tarnaveni (Bobohalma)

15165

46.3600

24.2259

525

19872013

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Figure 3 shows the comparison of the aforementioned time series. As it could be seen,
the ROCADA dataset comes closer to the raw station data. The temporal variability of
precipitation is well estimated in all three datasets, especially at lower altitudes. At Stana
de Vale weather station, located in the mountains, the precipitation values are highly
underestimated by both gridded datasets, ROCADA providing the closest resemblance
with the observations.
In order to illustrate how closely the interpolation methods resemble the observations,
Taylor diagrams were also used, as they are able to simultaneously represent three coefficients in one graph (Taylor 2001): standard deviations of measured and computed data as
the radial distance from the graph origin, centered RMS difference indicating the distance
from the point observed located on x-axis, and the correlation coefficient given by the

Fig. 3 Comparison of the precipitation time series from ROCADA, E-OBS, APHRODITE and independent
meteorological stations at six locations, for January (top) and July (bottom)

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angle between the x-axis and the position vector. Figure 4 shows the Taylor diagram for
precipitation data extracted at station locations from the three gridded datasets (the entire
data series were considered when building the diagrams). Generally, the E-OBS and
ROCADA datasets show reasonable performance in all cases. ROCADA has a better
accuracy in terms of standard deviation, correlation and root-mean-square error. However,
both datasets underestimate the amount of observed precipitation, as emphasized by the
temporal variability plots from Fig. 3.
Regarding the mean air temperature, the time series plots (Fig. 5) show a much closer
resemblance between the station data and the time series extracted from the gridded
datasets. As in the case of precipitation, the ROCADA dataset managed to better reproduce
the local variability. The Taylor diagram (Fig. 6) shows that both gridded datasets performed well in all cases, with ROCADA having a better accuracy with respect to all three
indicators of the diagramalthough, for two stations, the results were extremely close for
the two datasets.
However, it is worth mentioning that these results could be strongly influenced by the
fact that, within ROCADA, all available precipitation data records with less than 30 %
missing values were used, while in the E-OBS dataset only 28 Romanian weather stations
were involved (www.ecad.eu/).
For the other parameters (i.e., minimum and maximum air temperature, cloud cover,
number of sunshine hours, air pressure, relative humidity, soil temperature), comparison
plots between ROCADA and six independent stations (four in case of soil temperature) are
available as electronic supplementary material.

Fig. 4 Taylor diagrams of the precipitation time series from ROCADA, E-OBS and independent
meteorological stations at six locations

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Fig. 5 Comparison of the mean air temperature time series from ROCADA, E-OBS and independent
meteorological stations at six locations, for January (top) and July (bottom)

The comparison charts show that at the two mountain stations situated above
1100 m.a.s.l. (Stana de Vale and Obars ia Lotrului), the minimum air temperature and the
number of sunshine hours are both overestimated by ROCADA, while the maximum air
temperature, air pressure and relative humidity are underestimated. Cloud cover is well
reproduced for all sites. The same goes for soil temperature; however, it has to be mentioned that there are no observations for soil temperature at stations above 1100 m.a.s.l.
These differences that occur at higher elevations are mainly due to the interpolation
method and to the averaging at the dimension of the grid cell. While we cannot expect a
perfect fit of a time series from a weather station over the data from the related grid cell

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Fig. 6 Taylor diagrams of the mean air temperature time series from ROCADA, E-OBS and independent
meteorological stations at six locations

(averaged over 0.1 9 0.1 degrees), it is obvious that, at higher elevations, the values
derived from ROCADA are less reliable in most cases.

5 Conclusions and future work


We presented the realization of a high-resolution, daily gridded climatic dataset for the
Romanian territory, for nine meteorological variables, covering the period 19612013. The
data were quality-controlled, homogenized and spatially interpolated using state-of-the-art
methods implemented in MASH and MISH software packages. The dataset proved to
capture well the orography and is suitable for studies on climatic variability, climaterelated hazards, as well as for spatially distributed agro/bio-meteorological and hydrological models. The dataset is freely available on request at doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/
PANGAEA.833627 (Birsan and Dumitrescu 2014b) and at www.euro4m.eu.
Of course, any gridded dataset-based interpolation of local weather station has its
limitations, at least because the values of a given parameter are averaged over a grid cell.
We are aware that, due to low network station density, the data series might be oversmoothed (Daly 2006; Ensor and Robeson 2008; Hofstra et al. 2009), leading to a flattening of the extreme values, particularly concerning precipitation at higher elevations
(e.g., Cheval et al. 2011).
Future work on the dataset concerns five main issues: increasing the length of the time
period; adding new parameters to the dataset (e.g., snow depth, wind speed); adding

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metadata within the homogenization process; increasing the spatial resolution for some
parameters (first of all for precipitation); testing new spatial interpolation methods.
Acknowledgments Dr. Tamas Szentimrey (Hungarian Meteorological Service) is kindly acknowledged
for his help on the homogenization and interpolation software. We acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from the
EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES (http://ensembles-eu.metoffice.com) and the data providers in the ECA&D
project (http://www.ecad.eu). The APHRODITE dataset was downloaded from www.chikyu.ac.jp/precip.
We thank the two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions, which led to an overall improvement in the original manuscript. This work has been realized within the framework of the EU-FP7
project EURO4 M, code: 242093 (www.euro4m.eu).

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