With support from the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and CPO’s Communication, Education, and Engagement Division, community organizers in eight U.S. cities are preparing to run citizen-science campaigns to map Urban Heat Islands (UHI) this summer. Cities were selected for support based in part on their readiness to mobilize community members to run the mapping campaign and on their ability and willingness to use the heat maps produced by the campaign to build resilience to extreme heat. The group is also engaging NWS personnel, NIHHIS collaborators, and Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors in each city to help identify high-heat target dates and publicize the campaigns.
Cities that have been offered support for UHI mapping campaigns for 2019 are: Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts; West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami, Florida; Yonkers, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Honolulu, Hawai’i. Additional cities are in the planning stages, preparing to run campaigns in 2020; organizers from these cities have been invited to participate in events that occur this summer.
Working with equipment, methodology, and collaborators from CAPA Strategies and the Science Museum of Virginia, participating cities will mobilize community members to drive pre-selected routes through their cities three times per day, collecting temperatures and GPS locations every second. The image above shows a color-coded path along one driver’s route in Richmond, Virginia. Collaborators will process the gathered data to produce high-resolution maps of temperature in the morning, afternoon, and evening across each city. Community groups that participate in the campaign will use the maps to promote resilience-building actions.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.
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