The Vertical City Weather Generator (VCWG v1.3.2)
The Vertical City Weather Generator (VCWG) is a computationally efficient urban microclimate model developed to predict temporal and vertical variation of potential temperature, wind speed, specific humidity, and turbulent kinetic energy. It is composed of various sub-models: a rural model, an urban vertical diffusion model, a radiation model, and a building energy model. Forced with weather data from a nearby rural site, the rural model is used to solve for the vertical profiles of potential temperature, specific humidity, and friction velocity at 10 m a.g.l. The rural model also calculates a horizontal pressure gradient. The rural model outputs are applied to a vertical diffusion urban microclimate model that solves vertical transport equations for potential temperature, momentum, specific humidity, and turbulent kinetic energy. The urban vertical diffusion model is also coupled to the radiation and building energy models using two-way interaction. The aerodynamic and thermal effects of urban elements, surface vegetation, and trees are considered. The predictions of the VCWG model are compared to observations of the Basel UrBan Boundary Layer Experiment (BUBBLE) microclimate field campaign for 8 months from December 2001 to July 2002. The model evaluation indicates that the VCWG predicts vertical profiles of meteorological variables in reasonable agreement with the field measurements. The average bias, root mean square error (RMSE), and R2 for potential temperature are 0.25 K, 1.41 K, and 0.82, respectively. The average bias, RMSE, and R2 for wind speed are 0.67 m s−1, 1.06 m s−1, and 0.41, respectively. The average bias, RMSE, and R2 for specific humidity are 0.00057 kg kg−1, 0.0010 kg kg−1, and 0.85, respectively. In addition, the average bias, RMSE, and R2 for the urban heat island (UHI) are 0.36 K, 1.2 K, and 0.35, respectively. Based on the evaluation, the model performance is comparable to the performance of similar models. The performance of the model is further explored to investigate the effects of urban configurations such as plan and frontal area densities, varying levels of vegetation, building energy configuration, radiation configuration, seasonal variations, and different climate zones on the model predictions. The results obtained from the explorations are reasonably consistent with previous studies in the literature, justifying the reliability and computational efficiency of VCWG for operational urban development projects.