Using WRF-UCM to assess the impacts of an urban archipelago on climate in the Northeast US

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Theresa Andersen, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA; and J. M. Shepherd and L. Bounoua

WRF-UCM coupled regional simulations will explore the individual and collective impacts of cities arranged in an ‘urban-chain' along the northeastern US. We frame our analysis around four landscape typologies: (1) sprawl, (2) high-density urban, (3) urban shape represented by the area to perimeter ratio and (4) urban chain archipelagos. The goal is to capture urban scale morphology and simulate the recent past, present and near-future impact of urbanization on regional mesoscale climate. Such simulations will provide insight on how the urban archipelago effect (UAE) modifies the thermal, dynamic, and precipitation regime in the study region. The literature is fairly conclusive on urban modifications to dynamical flow, temperature, and precipitation. However, the mid-Atlantic region has been poorly studied within these contexts. The cohesive response of climate variables to the ‘chain of heat islands' will be evaluated. A comprehensive validation will be performed using precipitation data from TRMM, GPM rainfall, and NOAA multi-sensor precipitation estimates as well as MODIS land surface temperature and weather stations data. These simulations will help to better understand the mechanisms through which urbanization interacts with climate and will be used to improve the urban canopy model in the LSMs and WRF and to further refine their parameterization to take full advantage of the available satellite data.