Urban Meteorology, Environment and Climate Services

A two-week training course on Urban Meteorology, Environment and Climate Services in Malaysia in late summer considered how urban atmospheric processes are, and could be, treated by national/city agencies and research bodies, drawing from the knowledge and experience of participants. Attendees shared insights from some of the coldest and hottest urban areas as well as from the largest and some of the fastest growing.

The course introduced trainees to the Urban Multi-scale Environmental Predictor (UMEP) on which they undertook a series of modelling tasks and tutorials. The lectures included introductions to urban micrometeorology, key features of the urban environment, urban heat islands, precipitation and clouds, urban tropical climates, and climate change in cities. The case studies covered air quality management along the Strait of Malacca, examples of integrated urban weather, environment and climate services, source area modelling, urban land surface modelling, thermal stress and human comfort modelling.

In their final reports each participant made a comparison between their country’s current capabilities in urban weather, climate and environment services and those in one or two other countries. Strengths and weaknesses were identified, and recommendations were made for each country.  Across all the cities, five key recommendations emerged:  

  • The need for meteorological and air quality observations as well as for quality assured 3-dimensional data;
  • The need for better integration across agencies, nationally and cities, both for operations and policy;
  • Better urban predictive ability (end-to-end) is required;
  • Capacity building and regional networks are necessary; and
  • Databases and platforms to share and integrate information with strong metadata should be set up.

The WMO/University of Reading course attracted 23 participants from 14 countries.

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