Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 84, Issue 1–3, pp 47–55 | Cite as

Progress towards better weather forecasts for city dwellers: from short range to climate change

  • M. J. Best


The current resolution of operational weather forecast model is not sufficient in general to explicitly resolve even the major cities of the World. As a consequence, urban areas have traditionally been neglected in such models. The introduction of tiled land surface models has enabled sub-gridscale landuse to be modelled, and hence has provided the opportunity to model cities within weather forecast models. However, to date there has been little effort made within the operational weather forecast community.

At present there is only one operational centre that explicitly resolves urban areas. This centre includes a simple urban scheme within its mesoscale and global models, which has been shown to have a positive impact on the forecast. However, with the recent developments within urban meteorology there are now a variety of urban schemes, which vary in their complexity and parameter requirements, that would be suitable for operational weather forecast models. So it is likely that more operational models, and in particular mesoscale models, will include urban areas in the near future.

With the majority of the World‘s population living in cities, the resilience of these cities to the impacts of climate change is also becoming of increasing interest. This means that urban areas will have to be included within climate change simulations, as well as weather forecast simulations, in the future. At present, only one climate change model has included a parametrisation for urban areas. However, this is likely to increase if work in this area grows rapidly.


Climate Change Urban Area Weather Forecast Mesoscale Model Land Surface Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Batchvarova E (2005) Progress in urban dispersion and air quality studies. Theor Appl Climatol (in press)Google Scholar
  2. Best MJ (1998) Representing urban areas in numerical weather prediction models. Second urban environment symposium, Albuquerque, NM, November 2–6, 1998, American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon St., Boston, MA, pp 148–151Google Scholar
  3. Best MJ (2002) Urban areas in climate simulations. Fourth symposium on the urban environment, Norfolk, VA, May 20–24, 2002, American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon St., Boston, MA, pp 9–10Google Scholar
  4. Bornstein, R, Lin, Q 2000Urban heat islands and summertime convective thunderstorms in Atlanta: three case studies.Atmos Environ34507516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown MJ, Williams MD (1998) An urban canopy parameterization for mesoscale meteorological models. Second urban environment symposium, Albuquerque, NM, November 2–6, 1998, American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon St., Boston, MA, pp 144–147Google Scholar
  6. Essery, RLH, Best, MJ, Betts, RA, Cox, PM, Taylor, CM 2003Explicit representation of subgrid heterogeneity in a GCM land surface scheme.J Hydrometeorol4530543Google Scholar
  7. Grimmond, CSB 2006Progress in measuring and observing the urban atmosphere.Theor Appl Climatol84322Google Scholar
  8. Kanda, M 2006Progress in the scale modeling of urban climate: Review.Theor Appl Climatol842333Google Scholar
  9. Lemonsu, A, Masson, V 2002Simulation of a summer urban breeze over Paris.Bound-Layer Meteor104463490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Martilli, A 2003A two-dimensional numerical study of the impact of a city on atmospheric circulation and pollutant dispersion in a coastal environment.Bound-Layer Meteor10891119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martilli, A, Clappier, A, Rotach, MW 2002An urban surface exchange parameterisation for mesoscale models.Bound-Layer Meteor104261304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Masson, V 2000A physically-based scheme for the urban energy budget in atmospheric models.Bound-Layer Meteor94357397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Masson, V 2006Urban surface modeling and the meso-scale impact of cities.Theor Applied Climatol843545Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Best
    • 1
  1. 1.Met Office, Joint Centre for Hydrometeorological ResearchWallingfordUK

Personalised recommendations