Summer in the City—Forecasting and Mapping Human Thermal Comfort in Urban Areas

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 4:00 PM
Room C212 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
A. A. M. Holtslag, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands; and R. J. Ronda, G. J. Steeneveld, B. G. Heusinkveld, and M. V. D. Harst

Demographic studies show an on-going migration of humans toward (sub)urban areas. This urban shift evokes the question how urbanization affects human thermal comfort and health, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with health issues. Physical properties of the urban material are often such that thermal human comfort, work productivity and public health are worse than on the surrounding countryside, particularly on hot summer days. The goal of the current work is to develop a novel prototype hourly forecasting system for human thermal comfort in urban areas on street level, which can be exploited by weather and health agencies for urban weather forecasting and heat wave warnings. The proposed thermal comfort forecasting system for cities, will be validated using novel observations from fixed meteorological stations in urban areas, bike traverses by mobile platforms (cargo bikes) equipped with state-of-the-art meteorological measurement devices (Heusinkveld et al., 2010; Van Hove et al., 2011) and stations operated by hobby meteorologists (Steeneveld et al., 2011a). Within the framework of this work, the system will be validated for a number of warm weather conditions episodes in Dutch cities that differ with respect to their morphological characteristics, topography and land use in the surrounding rural areas. At the conference first results will be shown of the work which started in summer of 2013 utilizing new fine scale observations in Wageningen, NL.

References: Heusinkveld, B. G., L. W. A. van Hove, C. M. J. Jacobs, G. J. Steeneveld, J. A. Elbers, E.J. Moors, and A. A. M. Holtslag (2010): Use of a mobile platform for assessing urban heat stress in Rotterdam, Proc. 7th Conf. Biometeor., Albert‐Ludwigs‐University of Freiburg, Germany, 12‐14 April 2010, pp. 433–438. Steeneveld, G.J., S. Koopmans, B.G. Heusinkveld, L.W.A. van Hove, and A.A.M. Holtslag,2011: Quantifying urban heat island effects and human comfort for cities of variable size and urban morphology in The Netherlands., J. Geophys. Res., 116, D20129, doi:10.1029/2011JD015988. Van Hove, L.W.A., C.M.J. Jacobs, B.G. Heusinkveld, J.A. Elbers, G.J. Steeneveld, S. Koopmans, E.J. Moors and A.A.M. Holtslag, 2011:Exploring The Urban Heat Island Intensity Of Dutch Cities. In: City Weathers Workshop proceedings, p. 31-38, 23–24 June 2011, Manchester United, Kingdom.