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Flashcards in urban microclimates Deck (11):

what are the two levels in a climatic dome?

urban canopy below roof level and the urban boundary layer above


features of climatic domes

temperature ranges, precipitation generation and patterns, humidity, wind speeds, reduced visibility


what is the urban heat island?

a significantly warmer 'island' surrounded by a rural 'sea' of cooler temperatures


what are the reasons for an urban heat island?

urban areas have lower albedo as dark surfaces e.g tarmac absorb heat during the day and release it slowly at night
large expanses of glass and steel reflect heat
less evapotranspiration and drains remove water quickly so moisture in the air is reduced, less heat energy lost in evaporating it
buildings 'leak' heat through poor insulation in winter and air conditioners pump hot air into the streets in summer
power stations, industries, vehicles and inhabitants generate heat


thermal gradient

the temperature decline from urban centre to rural-urban fringe, 6 degrees in summer and 2 degrees in winter


how does urban air pollution help the formation of clouds?

results in more condensation nuclei



thicker and persist longer in anticyclonic (high pressure) conditions where winds are too weak to blow them away


fog in the industrial revolution

19th century- an increase in the number of days of winter fog associated with the burning of coal



urban convection is powerful in summer, rising heat can rise quickly in the atmosphere and trigger heavier and frequent late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. air cools and condenses rapidly, forms water droplets which charge the thundercloud and discharge as lightning



urban structures interfere with wind by slowing, redirecting and disturbing overall airflow. they create friction and act as windbreaks, urban mean annual velocities are up to 30% lower in urban areas.


impacts of airflow, turbulence and emissions

urban canyons- narrow streets bordered by high rise buildings funnelling and concentrating winds
venturi effect- a violent form of wind in narrow gaps by air rushing to replace low pressure vortices beyond structures