Urban Meteorological Networks: The urban climatologists panacea?
1University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; 2Department of Meteorology, Reading
The heterogeneous nature of urban environments means that atmospheric research ideally requires a dense network of sensors to adequately resolve the local climate. With recent advances in sensor technology, a number of urban meteorological networks now exist across the world with a range of research or operational objectives. This talk will provide an overview of such networks and will review the logistical aspects of implementing high resolution urban meteorological testbeds, including selecting appropriate urban sites, testing and calibrating low-cost, non-standard equipment, novel communications and implementing strict quality assurance/quality control mechanisms (including metadata). The benefits of such networks for end-users will also be discussed as well as a glimpse into the future at how evolving technologies such as crowdsourcing could play an increasingly important role. The talk will conclude by making recommendations for future deployments based on the challenges encountered by existing networks, including the need for better reporting and documentation of network characteristics, standardized approaches and guidelines, and the need to overcome financial barriers via collaborative relationships with end users in order to sustain the long-term urban networks essential for advancing urban climate research.