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  1. null (Ed.)
    We present a Photo2Building tool to create a plausible 3D model of a building from only a single photograph. Our tool is based on a prior desktop version which, as described in this paper, is converted into a client-server model, with job queuing, web-page support, and support of concurrent usage. The reported cloud-based web-accessible tool can reconstruct a building in 40 seconds on average and costing only 0.60 USD with current pricing. This provides for an extremely scalable and possibly widespread tool for creating building models for use in urban design and planning applications. With the growing impact of rapid urbanization on weather and climate and resource availability, access to such a service is expected to help a wide variety of users such as city planners, urban meteorologists worldwide in the quest to improved prediction of urban weather and designing climate-resilient cities of the future.
  2. Abstract

    We present a numerical investigation of the processes that influenced the contrasting rapid intensity changes in Tropical Cyclones (TC) Phailin and Lehar (2013) over the Bay of Bengal. Our emphasis is on the significant differences in the environments experienced by the TCs within a few weeks and the consequent differences in their organization of vortex-scale convection that resulted in their different rapid intensity changes. The storm-relative proximity, intensity, and depth of the subtropical ridge resulted in the establishment of a low-sheared environment for Phailin and a high-sheared environment for Lehar. Our primary finding here is that in Lehar’s sheared vortex, the juxtaposition in the azimuthal phasing of the asymmetrically distributed downward eddy flux of moist-entropy through the top of the boundary layer, and the radial eddy flux of moist-entropy within the boundary layer in the upshear left-quadrant of Lehar (40–80 km radius) establishes a pathway for the low moist-entropy air to intrude into the vortex from the environment. Conversely, when the azimuthal variations in boundary layer moist-entropy, inflow, and convection are weak in Phailin’s low-sheared environment, the inflow magnitude and radial location of boundary layer convergence relative to the radius of maximum wind dictated the rapid intensification.

  3. Abstract

    This study aims to determine the impacts of tropical island processes on local convective storms. An analysis of rain events on the island of Puerto Rico between 1 June 2015 and 31 July 2016 showed that local island‐enhanced western storms accounted for 89 of 322 storms. This period is of particular importance for the Caribbean as 2015 was one of the driest years on record. While large‐scale influences such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, African easterly waves, and Saharan dust transport modulate moisture conditions in the region, correlations between precipitation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (−0.14), North Atlantic Oscillation (−0.42), and Saharan dust (0.1) for 1980–2016 ranged from weak to moderate. Local data for the island of Puerto Rico from weather stations, the Convection, Aerosol, and Synoptic‐Effects in the Tropics field campaign, and the North American Mesoscale model support the initiation or enhancement of convective rain events due to local island processes. In particular, analysis of surface wind speed/direction, convective available potential energy, lifted index, and the bulk Richardson number substantiate local instability due to surface heating, orographic uplift, and sea breeze trade‐wind convergence. These convective forcings along with available precipitable water in excess of 50more »mm ultimately led to intense storms despite severe rainfall‐mitigating dust episodes for which aerosol optical thickness exceeded 0.4. These results may have major implications for considering the impacts of local air‐sea‐land interactions on rainfall over other tropical islands.

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  4. The WUDAPT (World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools project goal is to capture consistent information on urban form and function for cities worldwide that can support urban weather, climate, hydrology and air quality modeling. These data are provided as urban canopy parameters (UCPs) as used by weather, climate and air quality models to simulate the effects of urban surfaces on the overlying atmosphere. Information is stored with different levels of detail (LOD). With higher LOD greater spatial precision is provided. At the lowest LOD, Local Climate Zones (LCZ) with nominal UCP ranges is provided (order 100 m or more). To describe the spatial heterogeneity present in cities with great specificity at different urban scales we introduce the Digital Synthetic City (DSC) tool to generate UCPs at any desired scale meeting the fit-for-purpose goal of WUDAPT. 3D building and road elements of entire city landscapes are simulated based on readily available data. Comparisons with real-world urban data are very encouraging. It is customized (C-DSC) to incorporate each city's unique building morphologies based on unique types, variations and spatial distribution of building typologies, architecture features, construction materials and distribution of green and pervious surfaces. The C-DSC uses crowdsourcing methods and sampling withinmore »city Testbeds from around the world. UCP data can be computed from synthetic images at selected grid sizes and stored such that the coded string provides UCP values for individual grid cells.« less