S14 Observations of the Urban Heat Island Effect from a Small City

Sunday, 6 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Daniel G. Burgin, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; and J. A. Crespo, A. Hartman, A. D. Hendricks, J. Heuss, K. A. Hudson, R. Knutson, A. Pearson, D. Moser, and R. J. Trapp

Most studies of the urban heat island (UHI) effect in the past have been focused on large cities, as these large cities have shown to enhance temperatures in the urban environment and otherwise affect precipitation. The UHI is due to differences in the surface energy budgets of the urban and surrounding rural areas. Automobiles, manufacturing, etc., add to the UHI.

The objective of this study is to examine if characteristics of the UHI effect in large cities are similar to those observed in smaller cities, such as Lafayette, Indiana. The goal is to determine the differences between rural and urban locations in the diurnal range of temperatures, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed and direction. An array of permanent and temporary weather observing stations within a 15 kilometer radius around the center of Lafayette, Indiana is used to collect surface observations over a 3 week period, our group will be able to observe the characteristics of the stated atmospheric variables and how they differ in relation to their proximity to the city center.

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