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Publication Date
14 May 2024

Urban Effect on Precipitation and Deep Convective Systems Over Dallas‐Fort Worth



A range of multi‐year observational data sets are used to characterize the hydroclimate of the Dallas Fort‐Worth area (DFW) and to investigate the impact of urban land cover on daily accumulated precipitation, RADAR composite reflectivity (cREF), and cloud top height (CTH) during the warm season. Analyses of observational data indicate rainfall rates (RR) in a 45° annulus sector 50–100 km downwind of the city are enhanced relative to an upwind area of comparable size. Enhancement of mean precipitation intensity in this annulus sector is not observed on days with spatially averaged RR > 6 mm/day. Under some flow directions, the probability of cREF >30 dBZ, occurrence of hail, and the probability of CTH >10,000 geopotential meters are also enhanced up to 200 km downwind of DFW. Two deep convection events that passed over DFW are simulated with the Weather Research and Forecasting model using a range of microphysical schemes and evaluated using RADAR observations. Model configurations that exhibit the highest fidelity in these control simulations are used in a series of perturbation experiments where the areal extent of the city is varied between zero (replacement with grassland) and eight times its current size. These perturbation experiments indicate a non‐linear response of Mesoscale Convective System properties to the urban areal extent and a very strong sensitivity to the microphysical scheme used. The impact on precipitation from the urban area, even when it is expanded to eight‐times the current extent, is much less marked for deep convection with stronger synoptic forcing. 

Zhou, Xin, Fred Letson, Paola Crippa, and Sara C. Pryor. 2024. “Urban Effect On Precipitation And Deep Convective Systems Over Dallas‐Fort Worth”. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 129 (10). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2023jd039972.
Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)