Eighth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes
Eighth Symposium on the Urban Environment
Boundary Layers and Turbulence Committee


An Analysis of the July and August 2008 Heat Wave Using Oklahoma City Micronet Observations

Kenneth C. Crawford, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and J. B. Basara, B. G. Illston, and A. J. Schroeder

The Oklahoma City Micronet (OKCNET) is a 40-station operational network designed to monitor atmospheric conditions across the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The network consists of four Oklahoma Mesonet Stations and 36 stations mounted on traffic signals at an average station spacing of approximately 3 km and collects quality assured, near real-time data at an interval of one-minute.

Using the OKCNET observations, a detailed analysis was conducted on an intense heat wave that produced record temperatures over 40oC in central Oklahoma during July and August 2008. In Oklahoma City, a consistent urban heat island (UHI) was present throughout the diurnal cycle with mean magnitudes of approximately 1oC during the day and over 2oC at night. Further, while the rural areas cooled to minimum low temperature values spanning 22-26oC, the low temperature values were often significantly warmer (26-29oC) in the urban zones. However, due to the increased warmth near the urban core due to the UHI along with sufficient humidity, heat index values were also typically greater than (a) the rural conditions and (b) the temperature values alone. In some cases, the urban heat index values were as much as 2.5oC warmer than the actual temperatures yielding apparent temperature values at night that were nearly 5oC warmer than the surrounding rural areas.

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Joint Session 3, Measurements in the Urban Environment—II
Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, Room 124A

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