The greater Salt Lake area (GSLA) has experienced significant urban growth in recent years, which is expected to continue. This urbanization is contributing to the development of an urban canopy. An urban canopy describes the effects of urban land cover characteristics on meteorological conditions, including temperature, humidity, and wind speeds. Urban canopies are associated with increased temperatures and greater concentrations of pollutants such as ozone. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, when used with an urban canopy model (UCM), can provide valuable information on the effects of future urban growth scenarios.The research conducted focused on two aspects of model development, including the implementation of local climate zones (LCZs) and the selection of a land surface model (LSM). Local climate zones allow for a greater number of land cover categories, more precise mapping of said categories, and the customization of urban parameters for each category. LCZs affect WRF outputs such as temperature, humidity, and wind speeds. Their proper use has been shown to increase the accuracy of the model and has potential to create more accurate predictions for future urban growth scenarios. Land surface models control the representation of different physical processes, such as surface flux. The Noah Scheme (the unified NCEP/NCAR/AFWA scheme) was compared with a 5-layer thermal diffusion scheme and the more advanced Noah multi-physics scheme. The effects of these different methodologies on WRF outputs, including temperature, were evaluated to determine which LSM can most accurately represent the GSLA in the WRF-based UCM model. Development of an accurate WRF-based Urban Canopy model for the GSLA will provide more reliable information on the effects of future urban growth scenarios for the Greater Salt Lake Area specifically. Findings from this research and the resultant model can be used for the same purposes in other locations.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Bradley Adams
Location: Alumni House, SORENSON ROOM (4:30pm)