Water rushes under a Juneau bridge during a flood.

SNAP is collaborating with the Alaska Department of Transportation to develop a point precipitation frequency tool using state-of-the-art climate projections to better understand the future of precipitation trends across Alaska. This is critical to maintaining transportation infrastructure across the state, and in designing new projects to be resilient to a changing climate.

The project utilizes two downscaling methods. We are statistically downscaling a dynamically downscaled dataset in order to more accurately represent high temporal resolution data at the local scale. Find more information on downscaling on the SNAP methods page.

What we are doing

The final product will:

  • Enable users to choose the data they wish to display
  • Enable the selection of data spatially or with latitude and longitude
  • Facilitate export of those data in a useful and familiar GIS-friendly format (such as NetCDF), with appropriate metadata

Problems that this work addresses

Precipitation trends are changing across Alaska as a result of our changing environment, and those shifts have a significant impact on Alaska’s infrastructure. Accurate projections of the severity and frequency of extreme precipitation events is necessary to design our roads and bridges to stand the test of time without driving up costs. This project will bring methodologies for engineering and design in line in compliance with Federal Highway Administration recommendations, increase cost efficiency, and reduce long-term risk of structural failure.

Project Details

SNAP Contact:  Nancy Fresco

Project Status:  Ongoing


  • Alaska Dept of Transportation