, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 855-865
Date: 23 Jun 2011

Urban heat island and boundary layer structures under hot weather synoptic conditions: A case study of Suzhou City, China

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Abstract

A strong urban heat island (UHI) appeared in a hot weather episode in Suzhou City during the period from 25 July to 1 August 2007. This paper analyzes the urban heat island characteristics of Suzhou City under this hot weather episode. Both meteorological station observations and MODIS satellite observations show a strong urban heat island in this area. The maximum UHI intensity in this hot weather episode is 2.2°C, which is much greater than the summer average of 1.0°C in this year and the 37-year (from 1970 to 2006) average of 0.35°C. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulation results demonstrate that the rapid urbanization processes in this area will enhance the UHI in intensity, horizontal distribution, and vertical extension. The UHI spatial distribution expands as the urban size increases. The vertical extension of UHI in the afternoon increases about 50 m higher under the year 2006 urban land cover than that under the 1986 urban land cover. The conversion from rural land use to urban land type also strengthens the local lake-land breeze circulations in this area and modifies the vertical wind speed field.