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Weather forecast sensitivity to changes in urban land covers using the WRF model for central México


Journal: Atmósfera
ISSN 0187-6236

Volume: 25;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: WRF | land cover | urban cover | weather forecast | temperature fworecast | Mexican Republic

The impact on temperature of the urban growth in central Mexico from 1993 to 2009 and the sensitivity of forecast to change in land cover are studied using high resolution numerical simulations. The mesoscale atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) uses Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) data created from NOAA-AVHRR satellite images from 1992 and 1993. However, from 1990 to 2010 the population of the country grew 29%, which represents an important increase in the extension of urban areas, particularly in the central part of the country, where the population in places like State of Mexico and Tlaxcala has grown around 34 and 33%, respectively. Due to the above, using the 2009 land use map of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI, by its abbreviation in Spanish), in this study an update of the 30” resolution urban coverage data used by the WRF model is performed. A sensitivity study is carried out for Mexico City and its suburbs, and for the cities of Puebla and Tlaxcala. Eight sites are analyzed where changes from vegetation cover to urban cover occur and temperature increases between 0.5 and 5.0 ºC. The average of the maximum differences in temperature throughout the diurnal cycle is 2.61 ºC and the mean of the differences in the whole period is 0.66 ºC. The maximum difference in temperature is registered between the 10:00 and 15:00 hours (local time). The average maximum temperature using new urban data is 26.96 ºC, whereas using GLCC-1993 urban data is 25.63 ºC. The average increase in daily maximum temperature is 1.33 ºC, and for the daily minimum temperature is 0.12 ºC. The maximum temperature is reached between 13:00 and 15:00 hours, whereas the minimum temperature is reached between 4:00 and 6:00 hours. The mean daily range using new urban data is 16.0 ºC whereas using GLCC-1993 data is 14.9 ºC. Results show that the change from vegetal cover to urban increased the temperature in the study area.
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