URBAN METEOROLOGY

Forecasting, Monitoring, and Meeting Users’ Needs

Committee on Urban Meteorology:
Scoping the Problem, Defining the Needs

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                        OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

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CONTENTS i Committee on Urban Meteorology: Scoping the Problem, Defining the Needs Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the coun- cils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this study was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Admin- istration under contract number NNX08AB07G, the National Oceanic and Atmo- spheric Administration under contract number NA11OAR4600211, and the National Science Foundation under contract number ATM-0809051. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-25217-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25217-2 Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America ii

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and tech- nical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding en- gineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Insti- tute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Na- tional Research Council. www.national-academies.org iii

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COMMITTEE ON URBAN METEOROLOGY: SCOPING THE PROBLEM, DEFINING THE NEEDS JOHN T. SNOW (Co-Chair), University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma XUBIN ZENG (Co-Chair), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona PETRA KLEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma STEFANIE EBELT SARNAT, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia J. MARSHALL SHEPHERD, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia ELLIS M. STANLEY, Dewberry, Los Angeles, California NRC Staff KATIE THOMAS, Associate Program Officer ELIZABETH FINKELMAN, Senior Program Assistant v

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BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR. (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park GERALD A. MEEHL (Vice Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research RICHARD CARBONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research KIRSTIN DOW, University of South Carolina GREG S. FORBES, The Weather Channel, Inc. LISA GODDARD, Columbia University ISAAC HELD, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ANTHONY JANETOS, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; University of Maryland HAROON S. KHESHGI, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company MICHAEL D. KING, University of Colorado JOHN E. KUTZBACH, University of Wisconsin-Madison ARTHUR LEE, Chevron ROGER B. LUKAS, University of Hawaii SUMANT NIGAM, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center RAYMOND T. PIERREHUMBERT, The University of Chicago KIMBERLY PRATHER, University of California, San Diego RICH RICHELS, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. DAVID A. ROBINSON, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey KIRK R. SMITH, University of California, Berkeley JOHN T. SNOW, The University of Oklahoma CLAUDIA TEBALDI, Climate Central XUBIN ZENG, University of Arizona NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer MAGGIE WALSER, Program Officer KATIE THOMAS, Associate Program Officer DANIEL MUTH, Postdoctoral Fellow ALEX JAHN, Christine Mirzayan Fellow RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator vii

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LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant RICARDO PAYNE, Senior Program Assistant ELIZABETH FINKELMAN, Senior Program Assistant GRAIG MANSFIELD, Financial Associate viii

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Preface Every two or three years, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) works with its core agency sponsors to select a topic for a special “summer study.” The purpose of these summer studies is to provide an opportunity for scientists, the private sector, and agencies to explore cur- rent issues in an interactive format. Sometimes these studies address practical problems, such as communicating uncertainties in weather forecasts (NRC, 2003a), developing effective response strategies through a better under- standing of the impact of simultaneously occurring environmental changes (NRC, 2007a), or identifying pressing high level, weather-focused research challenges and research to operations needs (NRC, 2010a). Other times they address specialized technical issues, such as improving the physical parameterizations in coupled atmosphere-ocean-land models (NRC, 2005). Summer studies are all designed around a small workshop where partici- pants gather to have candid discussions on a topic identified by the Board and its core sponsors as timely, important, and not likely to be requested by any one agency. We use the opportunity to bring communities together for forward-looking conversation. The 2011 BASC summer study focused on current and emerging fore- casting and monitoring technologies for the urban environment, and sought input and feedback from diverse communities of scholars, technology pro- viders, and users of such information. A planning committee, constituted by BASC and the National Research Council (NRC), developed the workshop agenda, selected participants who contributed presentations and took part in plenary and small group discussions, and synthesized the discussions into this report. The workshop was held July 27-28, 2011 at the J. Erik Jonsson Center of the National Academy of Sciences in Woods Hole, MA. More than 40 experts from academia, federal and local government, national laboratories, private sector, and the stakeholder end user community participated in the two-day ix

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x PREFACE workshop. The format was a mix of keynote presentations, panel discussions, and working groups. Appendix C provides the workshop agenda, participant list, and working group discussion questions. Appendix A contains abstracts from the three keynote speakers. The workshop provided much of the infor- mation for this report. To build upon the information-gathering workshop, the committee held one in-person meeting, several teleconferences, and conducted literature reviews to elaborate on the workshop questions. This report is peer reviewed and contains conclusions, but not recommendations, and is primarily addressed to the sponsoring agencies1 and users of urban meteorology information. The committee extends its thanks to the many individuals whose con- tributions have made possible this report on the emerging field of urban meteorology. These include the many invited experts listed in Appendix C who took the time to travel to Woods Hole and actively participate during the plenary sessions and working groups at the workshop. The commit- tee particularly thanks the three keynote speakers, Sue Grimmond, Walter Dabberdt, and Brian Stone, for their invited workshop presentations and their extended abstracts in Appendix A. The committee extends its special appreciation to Fred Carr, Jerry Brotzge, and Brenda Philips for providing the material on “The Dallas-Fort Worth Urban Testbed” in Appendix B. The committee could also not have achieved its objectives without the support of the BASC staff. Our sincere thanks are extended to Ms. Katie Thomas, Associate Program Officer; Ms. Elizabeth Finkelman, Program Assistant; Chris Elfring, BASC Director; and Rita Gaskins, Administrative Coordinator. Finally, the co-chairs applaud and thank the committee members who volunteered countless hours planning the workshop and subsequently writ- ing this report. For the committee, this has been a unique journey in learning some of the diverse needs of end users of urban weather information. What we have learned will motivate us to work to further advance the science and technology of this important emerging field. John Snow, Co-Chair Xubin Zeng, Co-Chair Committee on Urban Meteorology: Scoping the Problem, Defining the Needs 1 This study was organized by the National Research Council with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jeffrey Basara, University of Oklahoma Michael Batty, University College London Julie DeMuth, National Center for Atmospheric Research Teddy Holt, Naval Research Laboratory Pete Manousos, FirstEnergy Corporation Thomas Matte, New York City of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Jamie Voogt, University of Western Ontario Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by George Frederick, Falcon Consultants LLC. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. xi

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 15 Exploring Opportunities to Improve Urban Weather Information, 18 Charge and Approach, 22 Organization of the Report, 24 2 END USER NEEDS 25 End Users of Urban Meteorological Information and their Needs, 25 End User Needs not being Met by Current Urban Level Forecasting and Monitoring, 28 Underutilized Urban Forecasting and Monitoring Capabilities, 46 Communications across Disciplines, 47 Approaches to Strengthen Ties between Communities, 50 Key Themes from the Workshop, 53 3 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 57 Urban Meteorology: A Synopsis of the Science, 61 Advances in Urban Forecasting and Monitoring Techniques, 66 Emerging Technologies in Meteorological Forecasting and Monitoring, 81 Remaining Needs and Future Challenges, 89 FUTURE DIRECTIONS 93 4 Short-Term Needs, 94 Challenges, 100 Final Thoughts, 110 REFERENCES 111 xiii

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xiv CONTENTS APPENDIXES A Keynote Speaker Abstracts 129 B Case study: Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Testbed 153 C Workshop Information 157 D Statement of Task 165 E Acronym List 167 F Committee and Staff Biographical Sketches 173