89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:15 AM
The Environmental Prediction in Canadian Cities (EPiCC) network
Room 124A (Phoenix Convention Center)
James A. Voogt, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada; and T. R. Oke, O. Bergeron, N. R. Goodwin, S. Leroyer, B. R. Crawford, E. Christensen, B. E. Nanni, R. Tooke, D. van der Kamp, D. Aldred, S. Bélair, F. Chagnon, A. Christen, N. Coops, J. Mailhot, I. McKendry, I. B. Strachan, J. Wang, M. Benjamin, S. Grimmond, A. Lemonsu, and V. Masson
The EPiCC network is a multi-year (2006-2010) project of university and government researchers intended to provide an urban energy balance model ready for implementation in the Canadian Meteorological Centre numerical weather prediction scheme. The energy balance model is a development of the TEB-ISBA (TEB - Town Energy Balance; ISBA - Interactions Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) model (Masson 2000, Noilhan and Planton 1989) that will be optimized and verified for conditions found in Canadian cities. The project includes three components: observations, remote sensing and modelling.

Observations of surface radiation and energy balances, including CO2 concentrations and fluxes as well as boundary layer observations, are underway at several sites in Montréal and Vancouver. These cities have with contrasting climates, long histories of urban climate research and therefore good data resources. Flux sites at urban residential, suburban and rural locations are complemented by additional CO2 concentration and boundary layer measurements. Observations will continue for two years. The Montréal studies focus especially on winter conditions when snowfall is often large and energy use for space heating is intense. In Vancouver the focus is on water use for garden irrigation in summer. Short term intensive observational periods provide details of the evolution of urban snow cover following snow events, and the role of vegetation and anthropogenic water use on urban evaporation.

The remote sensing component is used to determine urban surface characteristics for the TEB-ISBA modelling system. Airborne LiDAR helps to parameterize the urban structure, including both built and vegetated elements. High resolution satellite imagery is used to provide details of the urban vegetation characteristics. Surface and space-based techniques are also used to assess surface properties, especially temperature and snow cover, and their impact on the surface radiation and energy balance.

The modeling component is updating the TEB-ISBA model system to provide better coupling between built-up and vegetated surfaces, a more realistic built-up surface representation, and improved parameterizations for the thermal roughness length and soil hydrology. Modelling will address both meso- and urban boundary layer scales, ultimately down to ~250 m grids. When meshed with other models the system is designed to meet needs to respond to accidental or other threats to urban health and safety. This will also provide Canadians with urban weather forecasts in previously unattainable detail. All components of the project are underway and progress on the project will be illustrated and discussed.

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