The building environment parameterization scheme (BEP) is a built-in “urban physics” scheme in the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model. The urbanized College Park (CP) in Maryland state (MD) in the United States (US) covers an approximate land area of 14.8 km2
and has a population of 32,000 (reported by The United States Census Bureau, as of 2017). This study was an effort to validate and improve the BEP urban physics scheme for a small urban setting, College Park, MD. Comparing the WRF/BEP-simulated two-meter air temperatures with the local rooftop WeatherBug® observations and with the airport observations, systemic deficiencies in BEP for urban heat island effect simulation are evident. Specifically, WRF/BEP overestimates the two-meter air temperature by about 10 °F during clear summer nights and slightly underestimates it during noon of the same days by about 1–3 °F. Similar deficiencies in skin temperature simulations are also evident in WRF/BEP. Modification by adding an anthropogenic heat flux term resulted in better estimates for both skin and two-meter air temperatures on diurnal and seasonal scales.
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