EPA Science Inventory

The Integrated WRF/Urban Modeling System: Development, Evaluation, and Applications to Urban Environmental Problems

Citation:

Chen, F., H. Kusaka, R. Bornstein, J. K. CHING, C. Grimmond, S. Grossman-Clarke, T. Loridan, K. W. Manning, A. Martilli, S. Miao, D. Sailor, F. P. Salamanca, H. Taha, M. Tewari, X. Wang, A. A. Wyszogrodzki, AND C. Zhang. The Integrated WRF/Urban Modeling System: Development, Evaluation, and Applications to Urban Environmental Problems . Journal of Climatology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 31(2):273-288, (2011).

Description:

To bridge the gaps between traditional mesoscale modelling and microscale modelling, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in collaboration with other agencies and research groups, has developed an integrated urban modelling system coupled to the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model as a community tool to address urban environmental issues. The core of this WRF/urban modelling system consists of the following: (1) three methods with different degrees of freedom to parameterize urban surface processes, ranging from a simple bulk parameterization to a sophisticated multi-layer urban canopy model with an indoor–outdoor exchange sub-model that directly interacts with the atmospheric boundary layer, (2) coupling to fine-scale computational fluid dynamic Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes and Large-Eddy simulation models for transport and dispersion (T&D) applications, (3) procedures to incorporate high-resolution urban land use, building morphology, and anthropogenic heating data using the National Urban Database and Access Portal Tool (NUDAPT), and (4) an urbanized high-resolution land data assimilation system. This paper provides an overview of this modelling system; addresses the daunting challenges of initializing the coupled WRF/urban model and of specifying the potentially vast number of parameters required to execute the WRF/urban model; explores the model sensitivity to these urban parameters; and evaluates the ability of WRF/urban to capture urban heat islands, complex boundary-layer structures aloft, and urban plume T&D for several major metropolitan regions. Recent applications of this modelling system illustrate its promising utility, as a regional climate-modeling tool, to investigate impacts of future urbanization of regional meteorological conditions and on air quality under future climate change scenarios.

Purpose/Objective:

The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL′s) Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD′s research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the Nation′s air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.

URLs/Downloads:

The Integrated WRF/Urban Modeling System: Development, Evaluation, and Applications to Urban Environmental Problems   (PDF,NA pp, 336 KB,  about PDF)

Journal of Climatology   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 11/01/2010
Completion Date: 11/01/2010
Record Last Revised: 02/08/2011
Record Created: 11/12/2009
Record Released: 11/12/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 216328

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ATMOSPHERIC MODELING AND ANALYSIS DIVISION

ATMOSPHERIC EXPOSURE INTEGRATION BRANCH