Multi-layer coupling between SURFEX-TEB-v9.0 and Meso-NH-v5.3 for modelling the urban climate of high-rise cities

Schoetter, Robert ; Kwok, Yu Ting ; de Munck, Cécile ; Lau, Kevin Ka Lun ; Wong, Wai Kin ; Masson, Valéry

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<p align=justify>Urban canopy models (UCMs) represent the exchange of momentum, heat, and moisture between cities and the atmosphere. Single-layer UCMs interact with the lowest atmospheric model level and are suited for low- to mid-rise cities, whereas multi-layer UCMs interact with multiple levels and can also be employed for high-rise cities. The present study describes the multi-layer coupling between the Town Energy Balance (TEB) UCM included in the Surface Externalisée (SURFEX) land surface model and the Meso-NH mesoscale atmospheric model. This is a step towards better high-resolution weather prediction for urban areas in the future and studies quantifying the impact of climate change adaptation measures in high-rise cities. The effect of the buildings on the wind is considered using a drag force and a production term in the prognostic equation for turbulent kinetic energy. The heat and moisture fluxes from the walls and the roofs to the atmosphere are released at the model levels intersecting these urban facets. No variety of building height at grid-point scale is considered to remain the consistency between the modification of the Meso-NH equations and the geometric assumptions of TEB. The multi-layer coupling is evaluated for the heterogeneous high-rise, high-density city of Hong Kong. It leads to a strong improvement of model results for near-surface air temperature and relative humidity, which is due to better consideration of the process of horizontal advection in the urban canopy layer. For wind speed, model results are improved on average by the multi-layer coupling but not for all stations. Future developments of the multi-layer SURFEX-TEB will focus on improving the calculation of radiative exchanges, which will allow a variety of building heights at grid-point scale to be taken into account.</p>
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