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An intra-urban thermal breeze in Göteborg, Sweden.

Journal article
Authors Sofia Thorsson
Ingegärd Eliasson
Published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology
Volume 75
Pages 93-104
Publication year 2003
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 93-104
Language en
Links DOI: 10.1007/s00704-003-0725-9
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


The existence and character of an intra-urban thermal breeze (IUTB) in the city centre of Goteborg, Sweden was examined. The study was carried out in a 10 ha open area covered with gravel, asphalt and grass, surrounded by narrow street canyons. Measurements included an array of fixed wind and temperature sensors and smoke in the open area; temperature of the surrounding neighbourhood from mobile thermal mapping and fixed temperature sensors; standard climate measurements from four automatic weather stations in and around Goteborg. The results based on sixteen field surveys performed between December 1998 and March 2000 showed that the open urban area might generate a special type of IUTB under certain conditions. The IUTB was shown to be a rare nocturnal winter phenomenon developing during clear and calm weather conditions, with snow covered ground, strong ground based inversions and high stability (Ri(b) > 1). The most important driving forces for the generation of an IUTB were large intra-urban horizontal air temperature differences and strong atmospheric stability which led to decoupling of the canopy layer atmosphere from wind flow aloft. In order to estimate the physical principles underlying an IUTB of this type a simple 1.5-dimensional model was devised. Results indicated that the horizontal intra-urban air temperature difference recorded in Goteborg was enough to develop an IUTB.

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