Numerical Study of Urbanization Effect on 2012 Heavy Storm Precipitation in Beijing

Monday, 15 December 2014
Zhenxin Liu1,2, Shuhua Liu2, Yongkang Xue3 and Keith W Oleson4, (1)IAP Insititute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, (2)Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China, (3)University of California Los Angeles, Department of Geography, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (4)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, United States
In the past few decades, Great Beijing area has experienced rapid and widespread urbanization, which has significantly modified the land surface physical characteristics and affects urban regional climate.
A single layer urban canopy module has been developed based on the Community Land Surface Model Urban Module (CLMU) with improvements: the energy balances on the five surface conditions are considered separately: building roof, sun side and shaded side wall, pervious and impervious land surface. A method to calculate sky view factor is developed based on the physically process while most urban models simply provide an empirical value. This method improves the solar and long wave radiation simulation on each surface; a new scheme for calculating the latent heat flux is applied on both wall and impervious land; the anthropogenic heat is considered in terms of industrial production, domestic wastes, vehicles and air condition.
The urban effect on summer convective precipitation under the unstable atmospheric condition over Beijing was investigated by simulating a heavy storm event in July 21st 2012. In this storm, precipitation of averagely 164 mm was brought to Beijing within 6 hours, which is the record of past 60 years in the region. Numerical simulating experiment was set up by coupling Weather Research and Forecast (WRF)/SSiB3 model with the Modified CLMU (MCLMU). Several control cases without MCLMU were set up. The horizontal resolution in the inner domains was set to be 2 km.
While all of the control results drastically underestimate the urban precipitation, the result of WRF/SSiB3/MCLMU is much closer to the observation. Sensitive experiments show that the existence of large area of impervious surfaces restrain the surface evaporation and latent heat flux in urban while the anthropogenic heat and enhanced sensible heat flux warm up the lower atmospheric layer and strengthen the vertical stratification instability, which is the key factor for storm while moisture is sufficient.