Summer-and wintertime variations of the surface and near-surface urban heat island in a semiarid environment

Francisco Salamanca Palou, Alex Mahalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines summer-and wintertime variations of the surface and near-surface urban heat island (UHI) for the Phoenix metropolitan area using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), near-surface meteorological observations, and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model during a 31-day summer-and a 31-day wintertime period. The surface UHI (defined based on the urban–rural land surface temperature difference) is found to be higher at night and during the warm season. On the other hand, the morning surface UHI is low and frequently exhibits an urban cool island that increases during the summertime period. Similarly, the near-surface UHI (defined based on the urban–rural 2-m air temperature difference) is higher at night and during summertime. On the other hand, the daytime near-surface UHI is low but rarely exhibits an urban cool island. To evaluate the WRF Model’s ability to reproduce the diurnal cycle of near-surface meteorology and surface skin temperature, two WRF Model experiments (one using the Bougeault and Lacarrere turbulent scheme and one with the Mellor–Yamada–Janjić turbulent parameterization) at high spatial resolution (1-km horizontal grid spacing) are conducted for each 31-day period. Modeled results show that the WRF Model (coupled to the Noah-MP land surface model) tends to underestimate to some extent surface skin temperature during daytime and overestimate nighttime values during the wintertime period. In the same way, the WRF Model tends to accurately reproduce the diurnal cycle of near-surface air temperature, including maximum and minimum temperatures, and wind speed during summertime, but notably overestimates nighttime near-surface air temperature during wintertime. This nighttime overestimation is especially remarkable with the Bougeault and Lacarrere turbulent scheme for both urban and rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1865
Number of pages17
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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