89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 14 January 2009: 4:30 PM
Urban effects on Sea Breeze Circulation over Huston, TX
Room 126A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Kazuyuki Ota, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and U. S. Nair, W. A. Petersen, L. D. Carey, and T. E. Nobis
The purpose of this paper is the verification of Gauthier's hypothesis that the dominant factor in the “anomaly” of Cloud-to-Ground (CG) lightning density over Houston is the enhancement of the sea breeze circulation by the urban environment. The effects of the Houston urban area are herein simulated and presented by using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) developed at Colorado State University. The RAMS model used in this paper includes the Town Energy Budget (TEB) model by Masson. Therefore, the turbulent flux caused by artificial materials on the surface can then be considered to be an effect of the presence of an urban environment on sea breeze circulation as estimated through a series of simulations. The source of data for the initialization of the model was the North American Mesoscale (NAM) as provided by the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research (UCAR). To provide a more realistic simulation, soil moisture derived from NAM data was assigned to each grid. A discussion of the effect of changes in Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) as predicted by simulations is also included.

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