Article ID: 2019-013
This study investigates the impact of urbanization on surface air temperature and the urban heat island (UHI) for Sendai City. We estimate the impacts of the urbaniza-tion during the 150-year period by comparing the 1850s to the 2000s case. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with 1-km horizontal resolution and three land-use datasets, one for potential natural vegetation (PNV) data, the other two for realistic land-use data (the 1850s and 2000s). Results from the control simulation (2000s land-use case) are firstly verified against observations. The results show that the WRF model reasonably well reproduces the diurnal variation of the observed surface air temperatures in the 2000s land-use case at six stations in Miyagi prefecture. The model mean biases range from −0.29 to −1.18°C in August (10-year average) and from −0.44 to −1.50°C in February (10-year average). Secondly, the impacts of urbanization on the surface air temperature distribution in and around Sendai City are evaluated. In the 1850s land-use case, the very small urban area of Sendai City results in a negligible UHI. This case gives nearly the same surface air temperatures as experiments using the PNV. Comparing the simulated monthly mean surface air temperatures in the central part of Sendai City between the 1850s and 2000s land-use cases, we find that the monthly mean temperature for February in the 2000s is 1.40°C higher than that in the 1850s, whereas that for August is 1.30°C. Similarly, we find considerable nocturnal (1800–0500 JST) average surface air temperature increases of 2.20°C in February and 2.00°C in August.