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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Jul 2020

07 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Multi-layer coupling between SURFEX-TEB-V9.0 and Meso-NH-v5.3 for modelling the urban climate of high-rise cities

Robert Schoetter1, Yu Ting Kwok2, Cécile de Munck1, Kevin Ka Lun Lau3, Wai Kin Wong4, and Valéry Masson1 Robert Schoetter et al.
  • 1CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, 42 avenue Gaspard Coriolis, 31057, Cedex 1, Toulouse, France
  • 2School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 3Institute of Future Cities, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 4Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Urban Canopy Models (UCMs) represent the exchange of momentum, heat, and moisture between cities and the atmosphere. Single-layer UCMs interact with the lowest atmospheric model level and are suited for low- to mid-rise cities whereas multi-layer UCMs interact with multiple levels and can also be employed for high-rise cities. The present study describes the multi-layer coupling between the UCM Town Energy Balance (TEB) included in the land surface model SURFEX and the mesoscale atmospheric model Meso-NH. This is a step towards better high-resolution weather prediction for urban areas in the future and studies quantifying the impact of climate change adaptation measures in high-rise cities. The effect of the buildings on the wind is considered using a drag force and a production term in the prognostic equation for turbulent kinetic energy. The heat and moisture fluxes from the walls and the roofs to the atmosphere are released at the model levels intersecting these urban facets. No variety of building height at grid point scale is considered to remain the consistency between the modification of the Meso-NH equations and the geometric assumptions of TEB. The multi-layer coupling is evaluated for the heterogeneous high-rise high-density city of Hong Kong. It leads to a strong improvement of model results for near-surface air temperature and relative humidity, which is due to better consideration of the process of horizontal advection in the urban canopy layer. For wind speed, model results are improved on average by the multi-layer coupling, but not for all stations. Future developments of the multi-layer SURFEX-TEB will focus on improving the calculation of radiative exchanges, which will allow a variety of building heights at grid point scale to be taken into account.

Robert Schoetter et al.

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Robert Schoetter et al.

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Latest update: 14 Aug 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Cities change the meteorological conditions for example by increasing air temperature, which can negatively impact their inhabitants during heat waves. TEB was developed to calculate the meteorological conditions in low- and mid-rise cities since it interacts only with the lowest level of an atmospheric model. Here, a multi-layer coupling of TEB is introduced to enable modelling the urban climate of cities with many skyscrapers; the new version is tested for the high-rise city of Hong Kong.
Cities change the meteorological conditions for example by increasing air temperature, which can...