Sensors and the city: a review of urban meteorological networks


Correspondence to: C. L. Muller, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. E-mail:


The heterogeneous nature of urban environments means that atmospheric research ideally requires a dense network of sensors to adequately resolve the local climate. With recent advances in sensor technology, a number of urban meteorological networks now exist with a range of research or operational objectives. This article reviews and assesses the current status of urban meteorological networks, by examining the fundamental scientific and logistical issues related to these networks. The article concludes by making recommendations for future deployments based on the challenges encountered by existing networks, including the need for better reporting and documentation of network characteristics, standardized approaches and guidelines, along with the need to overcome financial barriers via collaborative relationships in order to establish the long-term urban networks essential for advancing urban climate research. Copyright © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society