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The Meteorology of Urban Heat Islands

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 5:00

Wednesday, September 11, 2019. 5:00 PM. The Meteorology of Urban Heat Islands. Elie Bou-Zeid, Princeton University. Sponsored by Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 



While urban heat islands have mostly been studied as climatological phenomena, the temporal variability of their signal hints at significant meso to synoptic time-scale dynamics. In this talk, we will overview the physical processes responsible for the urban heat island, how we represent these physics in numerical weather prediction models, and what the model results then tell us about the meteorological variability of urban weather. Specifically, we focus on the evolution of urban heat islands during both heat waves and cold waves to understand their dynamics under meteorological extremes and how classic mitigation measures, such as green or cool roofs, can be applied to improve urban environmental conditions across all seasons and weather patterns. We conclude with an overview of some novel mitigation measures we are evaluating such as thermochromic roofs covers and phase change material.


Dr. Elie Bou-Zeid is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the director of the Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources at Princeton University. He is also the coordinator of Princeton’s Metropolis Project.

His research focuses on the integration of theory, numerical simulations, and experimental observations to study flow and transport in the lowest kilometer of the atmosphere, where humans live and have a direct impact on the planet. In particular, he is interested in applications related to the built environment including urban environmental quality, climate-aware infrastructure, energy efficiency, and urban sensor networks.

Bou-Zeid holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.


Location  Room 101, CORE, 96 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ
Contact  Dr. Roger Wang: