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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 379361, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical Evaluation of the Impact of Urbanization on Summertime Precipitation in Osaka, Japan

1Center for Environmental Innovation Design for Sustainability, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
3School of Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavrepalanchok 45200, Nepal

Received 4 July 2014; Revised 2 September 2014; Accepted 2 September 2014

Academic Editor: Eduardo García-Ortega

Copyright © 2015 Hikari Shimadera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study utilized the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.5.1 to evaluate the impact of urbanization on summertime precipitation in Osaka, Japan. The evaluation was conducted by comparing the WRF simulations with the present land use and no-urban land use (replacing “Urban” with “Paddy”) for August from 2006 to 2010. The urbanization increased mean air temperature by 2.1°C in urban areas because of increased sensible heat flux and decreased mean humidity by 0.8 g kg−1 because of decreased latent heat flux. In addition, the urbanization increased duration of the southwesterly sea breeze. The urbanization increased precipitation in urban areas and decreased in the surrounding areas. The mean precipitation in urban areas was increased by 20 mm month−1 (27% of the total amount without the synoptic-scale precipitation). The precipitation increase was generally due to the enhancement of the formation and development of convective clouds by the increase in sensible heat flux during afternoon and evening time periods. The urbanization in Osaka changes spatial and temporal distribution patterns of precipitation and evaporation, and consequently it substantially affects the water cycle in and around the urban areas of Osaka.