Detecting the presence of an urban heat island at three major North Carolina airports; and locating climatologically appropriate sites for a Piedmont Triad weather station

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew Futrell (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Jay Lennartson

Abstract: Given the urbanization that has taken place adjacent to PTIA it is likely that the Piedmont Triad International Airport's (PTIA) KGSO Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) weather station has been impacted by an urban heat island (UHI) effect. This local-scale phenomenon has influenced and will continue to influence meteorological observations at the PTIA weather station. This research will construct a raster data model to locate sites without contamination of an UHI. The new weather station site will be a suitable alternative to PTIA. To determine if an UHI is impacting PTIA, the average monthly minimum and maximum temperatures were analyzed using three separate statistical procedures. First, a deviation test was used to find any decoupling of average monthly minimum from average monthly maximum temperatures. Second, a Student's t-Test checked for significant difference for any decouplings found using the deviation statistic. Lastly, a correlation statistic is applied to test if a positive correlation exists between average monthly minimum temperatures with a running total of commercial/industrial land-use in close proximity to each airport. The above procedures determined that KGSO has been influenced by an urban heat island effect. The second part of this study employed a raster data model to locate `ideal' sites for KGSO, using criteria set by the World Meteorological Organization (Appendix F). In particular factors analyzed were land-use, elevation, slope, hallows, water, and impervious surface. The raster date model can be used to find ideal alternatives for other heat island influenced weather stations.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
ASOS, Climatologically Appropriate, GIS, Site Suitability, UHI, Weather Station Siting
Subjects
Urban climatology $x Research
Urban heat island $x Research $z North Carolina
Automatic meteorological stations $x Research $z North Carolina
Meteorological stations $x Research $z North Carolina