Submitted as: development and technical paper 17 Jul 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 17 Jul 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Surface [Urban] Energy and Water Balance Scheme (v2020a) in non-urban areas: developments, parameters and performance

Hamidreza Omidvar1, Ting Sun1, Sue Grimmond1, Dave Bilesbach2, Andrew Black3, Jiquan Chen4, Zexia Duan5, Zhiqiu Gao5,6, Hiroki Iwata7, and Joseph P. McFadden8 Hamidreza Omidvar et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6BB, UK
  • 2Biological Systems Engineering Department, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 68588, USA
  • 3Faculty of Land and Food System, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, CA
  • 4Center for Global Change and Earth Observation, Department of Geography, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA
  • 5Collaborative Innovation Centre on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 6State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 7Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Shinshu University, Nagano 390-8621, Japan
  • 8Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106 USA

Abstract. This paper extends the applicability of the SUEWS (Surface [Urban] Energy and Water Balance Scheme) to extensive pervious areas (deciduous trees, evergreen trees, grass, croplands, soil and water) outside cities. It can be used either offline or online (i.e., coupled to weather/climate models). The required parameters to simulate the turbulent latent heat (or evaporative) flux are derived using observations. Both the parameters (leaf area index (LAI), albedo, roughness parameters and surface conductance) and the surface energy balance fluxes are evaluated at independent sites and/or different periods at the same site. Methods to obtain parameters and guidance to apply SUEWS are provided. Results demonstrate the impacts from differences in LAI dynamics and albedo for various types of vegetation. The relation between LAI and albedo is explored. Deciduous, evergreen, and grass land covers all have long periods of LAI maxima, but croplands normally have a short sharp peak due to harvesting. For most of the vegetation types studied the maximum albedo coincides with the maximum LAI period, but for some evergreen trees the maxima are associated with leaves changing colour (needles/leaves get darker as they age during autumn and winter). Ensuring these dynamics are captured is important for assessing urban-rural differences (e.g. canopy layer air temperature).

Hamidreza Omidvar et al.

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Hamidreza Omidvar et al.

Model code and software

Urban-Meteorology-Reading/SUEWS_parameters: Assets for GMD submission Hamidreza Omidvar, Ting Sun, and Sue Grimmond

Hamidreza Omidvar et al.


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Short summary
This paper extends the applicability of the SUEWS to extensive pervious areas outside cities. We derived various parameters such as leaf area index, albedo, roughness parameters and surface conductance for non-urban areas. The relation between LAI and albedo is also explored. The methods and parameters discussed can be used for both online and offline simulations. Using appropriate parameters related to non-urban areas are essential for assessing urban-rural differences.