UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -

GEOB 401

Urban Meteorology

GEOG 311 - Urban Environments

by Andreas Christen - 'Urban Meteorology' focusses on the impact of urbanization upon atmospheric processes and climates. Cities significantly alter exchange processes at the land-atmosphere interface. We elaborate and quantify how meteorology and climate on different scales are affected by the presence of an urban surface (trace-gas exchange, urban heat island, precipitation modification, etc.). We explore methods to measure and model those urban land-atmosphere interactions. We discuss the significance of urban climate in applications such as architecture, urban planning and management, health, weather forecasting, dispersion modelling and global climate change.


 Lectures and Exams
Date Topic Reading
03-Jan-17 1 Course overview and introduction. Reading Materials
05-Jan-17 2 The urban surface. Reading Materials
10-Jan-17 3 The urban atmosphere.  
12-Jan-17 4 Urban complexity and experimental control.
Preparation of the car traverse exercise
17-Jan-17 5 Short-wave radiation and the urban surface. Reading Materials
19-Jan-17 6 Long-wave radiation exchange in an urban canopy.  
24-Jan-17 No class.  
26-Jan-17 7 Radiation and the urban atmosphere.  
31-Jan-17 8 Anthropogenic heat release. Reading Materials
02-Feb-17 9 The urban energy balance.  
07-Feb-17 10 The surface urban heat island. Reading Materials
09-Feb-17 11 The canopy layer and boundary layer urban heat islands.  
14-Feb-17 Midterm Examination I (FAQ, Exam Questions, Answer Key, Statistics).
Allocation of Group Research Projects.
16-Feb-17 12 Flow around buildings and in the urban canopy. Reading Materials
  Midterm Break  
28-Feb-17 13 Wind, turbulence and dispersion in cities.  
02-Mar-17 14 Regional effects of cities on wind.  
07-Mar-17 15 The water balance of cities. Reading Materials
09-Mar-17 16 Urban effects on humidity, dew and fog. Reading Materials
14-Mar-17 17 Urban effects on clouds and precipitation. Reading Materials
16-Mar-17 18 Weather and climate monitoring in cities.
21-Mar-17 19 Forecasting weather and climate for cities.
Deadline of car traverse write-up.
23-Mar-17 Midterm Examination II (FAQ, Exam Questions, Answer Key , Statistics).  
28-Mar-17 20 Climate sensitive urban design and planning.  
30-Mar-17 P1 Group project presentations.
Instructions for research projects
04-Apr-17 P2 Group project presentations.  
06-Apr-17 P3 Group project presentations.  

Note, there is no final exam in this course. All dates and topics might be still subject to change.


Photo: Flux measurements above an urban surface using the eddy covariance method (BUBBLE, 2001/02).

Course Information


Term 2 2016/17

Tue / Thu 11:00 to 12:20
Geography Room 147

Course prerequisites

The course is scientific in approach. You must have at least one of those prerequisite courses: GEOB 204 or APBI 244 or GEOB 300).

Course evaluation

Please be sure to know the rules for exams, assignments and group projects. Marks for the course will be allocated as follows:


Online glossary of terms.

Your data sets

Data from your car traverses.


Andreas Christen
Associate Professor
Department of Geography
252 - 1984 West Mall andreas.christen@ubc.ca

Weekly office hour (Jan 5 to Apr 6, 2017)
Thursdays, 10:00 - 10:50


You need a PDF Viewer (e.g. the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, Version 5.0 or higher) to view some files on this webpage.
Latest changes : Jan 4, 2015.