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Towards an Understanding of the Impact of Land Surface Heterogeneity on Regional Climate in the New York-New Jersey Region

Speaker: June Yeung, Graduate Student
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Friday, March 4, 2011, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


The objective of this study is to examine the impact of spatial heterogeneity of the landscape in the New York-New Jersey region on storm production and evolution and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of regional climate model simulations of these storms.  Storm simulations are performed at a high resolution (3-km horizontal grid spacing) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.  An objective of this project is to develop a climatology of storm structure and evolution in this region, with emphasis on how they are linked to specific landscape features both from an atmospheric dynamics perspective and from a water and energy perspective.  One goal of the latter is to examine the role of land surface fluxes (latent and sensible heat flux) on storm development.  The New York-New Jersey region is bounded by  the Appalachian Mountains to the west and a complex coastline along the Atlantic Ocean to the east.  The regional land use is highly varied and includes a dense urban corridor through New Jersey and New York.  All of  these features potentially impact storm initiation and evolution.  In this presentation, analyses of two summer storms in August 2009 will be presented to introduce the methods employed to decipher the physical mechanisms of storm development and to perform detailed model validation.  Results of analyses of these storms, as well as plans for future research, are presented.