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Climate 2017, 5(3), 72; doi:10.3390/cli5030072

A Study of the Oklahoma City Urban Heat Island Effect Using a WRF/Single-Layer Urban Canopy Model, a Joint Urban 2003 Field Campaign, and MODIS Satellite Observations

1
SpringGem Weather Information
2
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3
Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, San José State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yang Zhang
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8014 KB, uploaded 13 September 2017]   |  

Abstract

The urban heat island effect (UHI) for inner land regions was investigated using satellite data, ground observations, and simulations with an Single-Layer Urban Canopy Parameterization (SLUCP) coupled into the regional Weather Research Forecasting model (WRF, http://wrf-model.org/index.php). Specifically, using the satellite-observed surface skin temperatures (Tskin), the intensity of the UHI was first compared for two inland cities (Xi’an City, China, and Oklahoma City (OKC)), which have different city populations and building densities. The larger population density and larger building density in Xi’an lead to a stronger skin-level UHI by 2 °C. However, the ground observed 2 m surface air temperature (Tair) observations showed an urban cooling island effect (UCI) over the downtown region in OKC during the daytime of 19 July 2003, from a DOE field campaign (Joint Urban 2003). To understand this contrast between satellite-based Tskin and ground-based Tair, a sensitivity study using WRF/SLUCP was analyzed. The model reproduced a UCI in OKC. Furthermore, WRF/Noah/SLUCM simulations were also compared with the Joint Urban 2003 ground observations, including wind speeds, wind directions, and energy fluxes. Although the WRF/SLUCM model failed to simulate these variables accurately, it reproduced the diurnal variations of surface temperatures, wind speeds, wind directions, and energy fluxes reasonably well. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heat island effect; regional model simulation; satellite remote sensing; field experiment urban heat island effect; regional model simulation; satellite remote sensing; field experiment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.; Jin, M.S.; Leach, M. A Study of the Oklahoma City Urban Heat Island Effect Using a WRF/Single-Layer Urban Canopy Model, a Joint Urban 2003 Field Campaign, and MODIS Satellite Observations. Climate 2017, 5, 72.

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