Civil & Env. Engineering Seminar:
The Meteorology of Urban Heat Islands
While urban heat islands have mostly been studied as climatological phenomena, the temporal variability of their signal hints at significant meso to synoptic time-scale dynamics. In this talk, we will overview the physical processes responsible for the urban heat island, how we represent these physics in numerical weather prediction models, and what the model results then tell us about the meteorological variability of urban weather. Specifically, we focus on the evolution of urban heat islands during both heat waves and cold waves to understand their dynamics under meteorological extremes and how classic mitigation measures, such as green or cool roofs, can be applied to improve urban environmental conditions across all seasons and weather patterns. We conclude with an overview of some novel mitigation measures we are evaluating such as thermochromic roofs covers and phase change material.