As the rate of urbanization increases, local vegetation is being replaced with man-made materials, causing increasingly adverse impacts on the surface-atmosphere energy balance. These negative effects can be simulated by modeling the urban landscapes in question; however, the main challenges of modeling urban thermal environments are the scale and resolution at which to perform such tasks. Current modeling of urban thermal environments is typically limited to either mesoscale (1 km to 2,000 km) or microscale (< 1 km) phenomena. In the present work, an open-source framework for one-way upstream coupled multiscale urban thermal environment simulations is examined and validated. This coupled simulation can provide valuable insights about the flow behavior and energy transport between mesoscale and microscale interactions. The mesoscale to microscale boundary conditions are coupled together using simulated data from the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF-ARW), a mesoscale numerical weather prediction software, and assimilating it into Parallelized Large-eddy Simulation Model (PALM), a computational fluid dynamics style (CFD-style) software designed for microscale atmospheric flows. The multiscale simulations are tested for grid sensitivity to variations in model input and control parameters, and then experimentally validated against distributed sensor measurements at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. Validated microscale atmospheric models with heterogeneous domains can be used to project the thermal benefits of urban heat mitigation strategies and advise building energy usage modeling and policies.

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