Accessibility navigation

Importance of initial state and atmospheric conditions for urban land surface models' performance

Best, M. and Grimmond, C. S. B. ORCID: (2014) Importance of initial state and atmospheric conditions for urban land surface models' performance. Urban Climate, 10 (2). pp. 387-406. ISSN 2212-0955

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2013.10.006


Urban land surface models (LSM) are commonly evaluated for short periods (a few weeks to months) because of limited observational data. This makes it difficult to distinguish the impact of initial conditions on model performance or to consider the response of a model to a range of possible atmospheric conditions. Drawing on results from the first urban LSM comparison, these two issues are considered. Assessment shows that the initial soil moisture has a substantial impact on the performance. Models initialised with soils that are too dry are not able to adjust their surface sensible and latent heat fluxes to realistic values until there is sufficient rainfall. Models initialised with too wet soils are not able to restrict their evaporation appropriately for periods in excess of a year. This has implications for short term evaluation studies and implies the need for soil moisture measurements to improve data assimilation and model initialisation. In contrast, initial conditions influencing the thermal storage have a much shorter adjustment timescale compared to soil moisture. Most models partition too much of the radiative energy at the surface into the sensible heat flux at the probable expense of the net storage heat flux.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:36105


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation