Tarendra Lakhankar

Urban Climate and Social Vulnerability

Monitoring micro-climate variables within cities that have a high accuracy for a better urban resilience to climate change is an ongoing challenge. Assessing the intra-urban characteristics of a city is vital to ensuring better living standards. Urban meteorological networks and automated data acquisition is highly needed for modern urban climate monitoring, evaluation, and analysis.
The NY-uHMT autonomous weather stations provide detailed and cross-sectional weather real-time data to support research studies on weather, water, and climate in the NYC regions. These stations measure air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and soil moisture every 15 minutes, generating valuable insights and information for a variety of purposes.
This project not only aims to provide accurate weather data for research but also to build a strong network of citizen science and community engagement across the city. The weather stations are located in public schools, community colleges, one public library, botanical garden, and several NY City Housing Authority (NYCHA) real estates, allowing K12 students and educators to connect their lessons with real-world environmental problems. This type of engagement is critical because K12 curriculum often lacks inquiry-based, engineering and technology-oriented lessons and contents.
The data produced by these stations are open to the public, agencies, and researchers through open access servers located at the CUNY CREST Institute in the City College of New York. The data are used to validate NOAA’s satellite data products and create a high-resolution urban Flash Flood Guidance (uFFG) and Hazard Warnings system. City officials and emergency managers can use this information to make informed decisions during the occurrence of extreme weather events. Overall, the NY-uHMT project serves as an environmental lab for NYC, promoting community engagement and providing vital information for research and decision-making.

The overarching research objectives of NY-uHMT are:

  • To develop integrated high-resolution mapping of ground and atmospheric conditions, focusing on the lower atmosphere, to detect and forecast severe wind, tornado, hail, ice, and flash flood hazards.
  • To improve the accuracy and lead time of measuring and accessing the precipitation and providing Warn-on-flash flood forecasts and warnings in the New York City region.
  • To create impacts-based, urban-scale flash flood and hazard warnings and forecasts for a range of public and private decision-makers that result in measureable benefit for public safety and the economy.
  • To develop collaborative models for federal/municipal/private partnerships for education outreach to NYC schools with on-going interdisciplinary weather system research at CUNY-CREST Institute.

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