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Sensitivity of Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme (SUEWS) to downscaling of reanalysis forcing data

Kokkonen, T. V., Grimmond, C. S. B. ORCID:, Räty, O., Ward, H., Christen, A., Oke, T. R., Kotthaus, S. and Järvi, L. (2018) Sensitivity of Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme (SUEWS) to downscaling of reanalysis forcing data. Urban Climate, 23. pp. 36-52. ISSN 2212-0955

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2017.05.001


Often the meteorological forcing data required for urban hydrological models are unavailable at the required temporal resolution or for the desired period. Although reanalysis data can provide this information, the spatial resolution is often coarse relative to cities, so downscaling is required prior to use as realistic forcing. In this study, WATCH WFDEI reanalysis data are used to force the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme (SUEWS). From sensitivity tests in two cities, Vancouver and London with different orography, we conclude precipitation is the most important meteorological variable to be properly downscaled to obtain reliable surface hydrology results, with relative humidity being the second most important. Overestimation of precipitation in reanalysis data at the three sites gives 6–21% higher annual modelled evaporation, 26–39% higher runoff at one site and 4% lower value at one site when compared to modelled values using observed forcing data. Application of a bias correction method to the reanalysis precipitation reduces the model bias compared to using observed forcing data, when evaluated using eddy covariance evaporation measurements.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71089


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