Assessing the Urban Heat Island of Big Rapids, MI

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Cameron J. Shoemaker, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI; and J. J. Johnson

This study is being conducted in the small collegiate city of Big Rapids, MI. Urban heat island studies traditionally focus on large cities, where the contributing factors of anthropogenic heat sources, low albedo surfaces, and air pollution are maximized. The purpose of this study is to investigate the significance of small cities in urban heat island research. A total of 28 HOBO Pro V2 temperature and relative humidity sensors mounted in radiation shields were hung across the city of Big Rapids and the surrounding rural areas. Data collection began in June of 2014 and will continue through the summer of 2015. The high spatial density of data points allows us to create a detailed picture of the Big Rapids urban heat island that illustrates differences in local land use rather than assuming one large dome of heat centered on downtown, which occurs in many studies with more limited data points. Results presented will focus on the diurnal characteristics of the Big Rapids urban heat island and the meteorological conditions that influence its strength.