CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool

Created: 9/29/2017 - Updated: 2/27/2020


The purpose of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Climate Data Processing Tool is to process readily available downscaled climate data at the local level into relevant statistics for transportation planners. This tool works with data used by the Downscaled CMIP3 and CMIP5 Climate and Hydrology Projections (DCHP) website. This website houses climate model data from phase 3 (CMIP3) and phase 5 (CMIP5) of the World Climate Research Programme.

The Microsoft Excel®-based tool enables users to estimate the number of extreme temperature and precipitation days per year for future climate scenarios out to the year 2099. For temperature, the tool can estimate the annual number of days above a certain temperature (e.g., 105°F) or below a certain temperature (e.g., 32°F).  For precipitation, the tool can estimate the annual number of days with precipitation above a certain percentile expectation (e.g., 99th percentile). Together, these estimates can be used to identify transportation assets that may be at risk.

Use of the tool requires three main steps:

  1. Downloading Data—Determining the appropriate climate data to download from the DCHP website, including location, models, and emissions scenario(s).
  2. Processing Data—Using the appropriate CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool Excel file to process data from the DCHP website into specific temperature and precipitation variables.
  3. Interpreting Data—Reviewing the results and properly applying them to decision making.

The User’s Guide provides detailed instructions within each of the three main steps.


The mission of the Department is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.


Scale of Project
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed
Land Use Planning
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Infrastructure damage
Type of Tool
Modeling and Analysis
Downscaled Climate Models
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development