Spatial superposition method via model coupling for urban heat island Albedo: Mitigation strategies

Humberto Silva, Jay S. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A spatial superposition design is presented that couples the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5) with the National Center of Excellence (NCE) lumped urban thermal model for application to the city of Phoenix, Arizona. This technique utilizes an approach similar to Reynolds decomposition from turbulence theory. The presented decomposition takes the NCE model prediction from a mitigated strategy as the mean temperature and the difference between the NCE and MM5 predictions without mitigation strategy as the perturbed temperature. The goal of this coupled model is to provide spatial variability when simulating mitigation strategies for the urban heat island effect, as compared with the spatially invariant lumped model. A validation analysis was performed incorporating a maximum 35% change from the baseline albedo value for the urban environment. It is shown that the coupled model differs by up to 0.39°C with comparable average surface temperature predictions from MM5. The coupledmodelwas also used to performanalysis of three different albedo-driven spatial mitigation schemes. This resulted in the identification that having a lesser number of mitigated points on a square urban grid in Phoenix with the same average albedo leads to a greater reduction in average hourly temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1971-1979
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Albedo
  • Mesoscale models
  • Model comparison
  • Numerical analysis/modeling
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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