FIGURE 1.2 Human-made lights highlight developed or populated areas of Earth. SOURCE: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=11795.
Dollar” weather events have taken a serious toll on our nation’s economy (NCDC, 2011; Figure 1.3).
Responding to these weather needs has led to the development of the field of urban meteorology. For many years, this specialty consisted of simply observing and forecasting the general weather for cities and surrounding metropolitan areas. However, scientific and technological advances of the past 50 years now allow us to predict a wide set of environmental parameters at relatively fine temporal and spatial scales, for times ranging from the next hour to the next several days and for small regions such as street canyons, individual buildings, and small parks.
As these capabilities have improved, the uses for urban weather information and its value to decision makers have increased. The challenge