TJ16.2 Urban Meteorology: Forecasting, Monitoring, and Meeting Users' Needs

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 8:45 AM
Room 19A (Austin Convention Center)
John T. Snow, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and X. Zeng and K. Thomas

Although all weather is driven by large scale weather patterns, the characteristics of urban settings—such as buildings of varying heights and large areas of paved streets and parking lots—can generate a unique urban weather environment. Given that three out of five people worldwide are expected to live in an urban environment by 2030, accurately forecasting urban weather is becoming increasingly important to protect these densely-populated areas from the impacts of adverse weather events and ensure urban systems – transportation, energy, water – function effectively and economically. Currently, the diverse needs of users of meteorological data in the urban setting, such as emergency managers, urban planners, traffic managers, and utility services are not being well met by the scientific community, mainly because of limited communication between the two communities. Users of urban meteorological information need high-quality information available in a wide variety of formats that foster its use, within time constraints set by users' decision processes. By advancing the science and technology related to urban meteorology with input from key end user communities, urban meteorologists can better meet the needs of diverse end users. A clear mechanism to help the urban meteorological community better identify user groups, reach out to them, and maintain an ongoing dialogue would lead to better urban weather forecasting and planning in the future.

This National Research Council report assesses what is needed to better meet end user needs and is intended to inform federal agencies and others responsible for planning and funding the next generation of research and development efforts in the field of urban meteorology. In this presentation, we will discuss both short-term needs, which might be addressed with small investments but promise large, quick returns, as well as future challenges that could require significant efforts and investments.

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