Urban impacts on air temperature and precipitation over The Netherlands

Vahid Rahimpour Golroudbary (Corresponding Author), Y. Zeng, C.M. Mannaerts, Z. Su

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The detection of changes in the weather of urban areas is an important issue for understanding the impact of weather on human lives. Five years of basic weather observations (2011−2015) from automatic and amateur networks across The Netherlands were used to investigate the urban effects on meteorological parameters with a focus on temperature (e.g. urban heat island [UHI]) and precipitation. Representative stations were selected based on metadata and a set of criteria for data quality control. An hourly analysis indicates that UHIs are a nocturnal phenomenon in The Netherlands and are more prominent after sunset, when they exceed 2°C. A seasonal analysis shows that UHIs occur in all seasons during the year, with the most significant UHI occurring in the summer. Furthermore, the differences in the precipitation of urban and rural areas were shown to be greatest after sunrise during the day. The maximum hourly UHI and hourly precipitation distributions were analyzed using a generalized extreme value model. The occurrences of maximum precipitation are likely to be more frequent at urban stations than at the nearby rural stations. Additionally, the distinct seasonal cycle of precipitation that is dependent on the UHI demonstrates that the maximum UHI and precipitation occurred in the summer. Our results indicate that the UHI and precipitation enhancements in Dutch urban residential areas, as obtained from the data of weather amateurs, are in agreement with the results presented in the literature, and that 7% more precipitation occurs in cities than in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalClimate Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018


  • Urban impacts
  • Population density
  • Amateur weather stations
  • Meteorological parameters
  • Urban heat island
  • · Precipitation
  • Temperature


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