Urban heat islands in Hong Kong : Bonding with atmospheric stability

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

7 Scopus Citations
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  • Weiwen Wang
  • Bingyin Chen
  • Yong Xu
  • Wen Zhou
  • Xuemei Wang

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1032
Journal / PublicationAtmospheric Science Letters
Issue number6
Online published16 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021



A barrier to urban heat island (UHI) mitigation is the lack of quantitative attribution of the various contributions to UHI intensity. This study demonstrates the daily and seasonal dynamics of UHIs in Hong Kong, a subtropical high-density city. The nocturnal UHIs of the city are grouped according to various dynamic stability conditions (neutral, weak stable, and strong stable) of the boundary layer. Results indicate that the stronger the atmospheric stability, the more intense the UHI. The atmospheric anomalies linked to these stability classifications are hence revealed. In summer, nights of neutral (strong stable) stratification are controlled by low (high) pressure with rising (sinking) motion, less (more) precipitation, and lower (higher) air temperature at the surface. In winter, the influence of the large-scale circulation system of the East Asian winter monsoon is significant. In the upper layer, the East Asian jet stream retreats westward (is displaced northward) on nights with neutral (strong stable) atmospheric stratification. At the surface, southeast China is hot and humid on neutral nights, while on strong stable nights, the coastal regions of southeast China are dry, and East Asia is dominated by positive surface air temperature anomalies. Atmospheric anomalies are generally nonsignificant on nights with weak stable stratification in both summer and winter. These findings provide potential predictors for UHI intensity.

Research Area(s)

  • atmospheric anomaly, dynamic stability, Hong Kong, urban boundary layer, urban heat island

Citation Format(s)

Urban heat islands in Hong Kong: Bonding with atmospheric stability. / Wang, Weiwen; Chen, Bingyin; Xu, Yong et al.
In: Atmospheric Science Letters, Vol. 22, No. 6, e1032, 06.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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