Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology







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The focus of this study is an intense heat episode that occurred on 9–13 July 2017 in Beijing, China, that resulted in severe impacts on natural and human variables, including record-setting daily electricity consumption levels. This event was observed and analyzed with a suite of local and mesoscale instruments, including a high-density automated weather station network, soil moisture sensors, and ground-based vertical instruments (e.g., a wind profiler, a ceilometer, and three radiometers) situated in and around the city, as well as electric power consumption data and analysis data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The results show that the heat wave originated from dry adiabatic warming induced by the dy-namic downslope and synoptic subsidence. The conditions were aggravated by the increased air humidity during subsequent days, which resulted in historically high records of the heat index (i.e., an index repre-senting the apparent temperature that incorporates both air temperature and moisture). The increased thermal energy and decreased boundary layer height resulted in a highly energized urban boundary layer. The differences between urban and rural thermal conditions throughout almost the entire boundary layer were enhanced during the heat wave, and the canopy-layer urban heat island intensity (UHII) reached up to 8°C at a central urban station at 2300 local standard time 10 July. A double-peak pattern in the diurnal cycle of UHIIs occurred during the heat wave and differed from the single-peak pattern of the decadal average UHII cycles. Different spatial distributions of UHII values occurred during the day and night.

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China


Meteorology and Climate Science