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  • Author or Editor: A. D. Clarke x
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R. J. Charlson, T. Silver, A. D. Clarke, and B. A. Bodhaine

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Susanne Grossman-Clarke, Yubao Liu, Joseph A. Zehnder, and Jerome D. Fast

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A modified version of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5) was applied to the arid Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan region. The ability of the model to simulate characteristics of the summertime urban planetary boundary layer (PBL) was tested by comparing model results with observations from two field campaigns conducted in May/June 1998 and June 2001. The modified MM5 included a refined land use/cover classification and updated land use data for Phoenix and bulk approaches of characteristics of the urban surface energy balance. PBL processes were simulated by a version of MM5’s Medium-Range Forecast Model (MRF) scheme that was enhanced by new surface flux and nonlocal mixing approaches. Simulated potential temperature profiles were tested against radiosonde data, indicating that the modified MRF scheme was able to simulate vertical mixing and the evolution and height of the PBL with good accuracy and better than the original MRF scheme except in the late afternoon. During both simulation periods, it is demonstrated that the modified MM5 simulated near-surface air temperatures and wind speeds in the urban area consistently and considerably better than the standard MM5 and that wind direction simulations were improved slightly.

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