Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Geosciences and Earth Sciences
Jeremy Sanchez - City College of New York and New York City College of Technology
Co-Author(s): Prathap Ramamurthy, Dept. Mech. Eng., City College of New York/NOAA-CREST Center, New York, NY
This research focused on understanding the impact of heatwaves on the urban boundary layer. Few studies have focused on the thermal structure and evolution of urban boundary layer and even fewer on the impacts of heatwaves. The study used microwave profilers to sense the boundary layer over New York City during July 2016. A period, which witnessed 3 heatwave episodes and heatwave warnings were issued on 16 days. Our analysis shows that the boundary layer, particularly the lower 2 km was highly energized during the heatwave event with the average virtual potential temperature at least 7-10 K higher throughout the boundary layer. Subsidence of warm air from the atmosphere aloft was captured by the profiler. The lower surface layer remained warm for extended periods of time and a heat dome was visible in the lower 250 m. We also found the effects of thermal internal boundary layers, wherein a low level inversion set in. This was mainly a result of local surface characteristics. The strength of this inversion grew during the heatwave episode. Finally, the nocturnal boundary layer during the heatwave episode remained mostly unstable. Overall the analysis has shown that urban areas can experience elevated temperatures during heatwaves episodes due to complex interactions between the surface and the atmosphere.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This project is supported by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Grants #1560050, under the direction of Dr. Reginald A. Blake, Dr. Janet Liou-Mark, and Laura Yuen-Lau and NOAA CREST CURE program under the direct of Dr. Reza Khanvilbardi and Dr. Shakila Merchant. The authors are solely responsible for the content of this article, and it does not necessarily represent the views of the NSF or of NOAA-CREST.
Faculty Advisor: Prathap Ramamurthy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: My faculty mentor and I collaborated on the project.