Sensitivity study of PBL schemes and soil initialization using the WRF-BEP-BEM model over a Mediterranean coastal city

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Abstract

Due to increased urbanization and global warming, cities are experiencing more heat wave (HW) events that cause extreme heat stress. To mitigate such effects, a better understanding of the impact of urban morphology on the boundary layer development is needed. This study investigates the sensitivity of mesoscale simulations using the WRF model coupled with the building effect parameterization and the building energy model (BEP-BEM) at a 1-km resolution to 1) soil moisture initializations; 2) the inclusion of site-specific urban morphology parameters; and 3) the planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme. A HW episode that occurred in the metropolitan area of Barcelona serves as the case study. We find that the use of a high-resolution land data assimilation system (HRLDAS) to initialize soil properties results in larger temperature diurnal range, but it did not improve the performance of simulated temperatures compared to using low-resolution ERA5 data. The inclusion of site-specific urban parameters improved the representation of urban fractions, reducing the night-time overprediction of 2-m temperatures compared to using default urban parameters. Overall, the Bougeault-Lacarrere (BouLac) scheme represents the PBL-height noontime observations better than the Mellor-Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) scheme. This was related to a better representation of daytime near-surface temperatures by the BouLac scheme compared to the MYJ scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalUrban climate
Volume39
Issue number100982
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Boundary layer
  • Heat wave
  • Urban morphology
  • Urban parameterization
  • WRF BEP BEM

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